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Congratulations to the Baldwin RYEP Seniors on their Graduation

Baldwin RYEP (Refugee Youth Employment Program) Graduation

21 seniors who are a part of the JFCS after-school program, RYEP, attended their commencement ceremony at Baldwin High school on July 1, 2020. Suffice to say, this was a very different ceremony than those held in previous years. The school district divided the ceremony into three sessions – keeping state COVID-19 guidelines in place and ensuring proper social distancing.

98% of these students came into the USA as refugee children; some started elementary school in America, while others started in middle or even high school. They are perfect bilingual speakers, speaking both their home language and English equally well. These young minds act as family interpreters for their parents and help with reading and understanding American cultural norms.

Oftentimes students miss the after-school program to take their parents/relatives to appointments, do household chores, or take care of younger siblings while their parents go to work. But they made it to the end and graduated with big dreams and their whole lives in front of them!

RYEP Helps Prepare for the Future

RYEP helps these students prepare for life after high school, whether that means college prep or career readiness. Through speakers, workshops, and activities, they learn necessary skills to succeed in the future.

When a student becomes a part of the RYEP program, they receive the following:

1. A visit to local colleges and trade schools
2. Financial literacy and FAFSA application
3. Different careers options counseling.
4. Job readiness skills and job application help – many of the students get summer jobs

5. Money management and financial literacy

Some of the colleges they will be attending: CCAC, Carlow, Pitt, Penn State, Chatham and PTI.

Many of the students are going into medicine, nursing, IT, business, and automobile mechanics. We’re proud of the work these students are doing and will continue to do in their futures!

Congratulations seniors!