Our Board members are primarily first-generation immigrants and refugees. Many of them, as well as our staff attorney (herself a Bosnian refugee) recall the experience of being the first in their families to learn English and gain competence in dealing with American bureaucracy.
Drawing on their own experiences, our Board envisioned a program that would recognize the contribution of the teenage children of disabled refugees and immigrants and further empower them in navigating American systems.
In 2018, we will pilot our Community Navigators program, with start-up funding from the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation. Learn more here. This program is designed to train and empower young adult family members and other youth in refugee and immigrant communities so that they can help adult refugees and immigrants with disabilities navigate the systems they encounter.
In partnership with the David Douglas School District and Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN), our first cohort of students will join us in designing and experiencing the Community Navigator training.
We will work with SUN and the David Douglas School District to create academic credit for student participation in the pilot as well as for the assistance that these students give their parents, their families and their communities in navigating American bureaucracies.