REFUGEE & IMMIGRATION SERVICES

ReCONNECT Kansas: Refugee Youth Mentorship Program

ReCONNECT Kansas is an opportunity for local mentors to help refugee youth achieve their education and career goals.

Through a grant from the Kansas State Office for Refugees, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas organizes one-on-one interactions and events and provides training and support from a program specialist.

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Transforming Lives through Mentorship

Local mentors and refugee mentees meet regularly over the course of a year, building relationships and cultural understanding while helping young adult refugees build successful lives in Kansas.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering as a ReCONNECT mentor provides the opportunity to meaningfully interact with someone of another culture. Due to the required length of the relationship, mentors will be able to witness the impact of their efforts and celebrate achievements.

In addition, mentors will serve as a cultural ambassador to their mentee, and be an integral part of a program that helps tie refugees to others within the community.

Who is Eligble?

ReCONNECT mentees must be refugees, asylees, or have an immigration statues listed under 45 CFR 400.43 and have been in the United States for less than five years. Mentees must also be between the age of 15 and 24 and not be enrolled in a K-12 institution.

Mentors must be at least 25 years old and must exceed the age of their mentee by at least three years. Professional, volunteer, or personal experience in a job field mentees are pursing is preferred, but youth interest is diverse and this can take many forms. Mentors and mentees meet four times a month to create and follow plans to help the refugee youth succeed. Mentors are asked to commit to a one-year mentoring relationship and should expect to spend eight hours per month planning and engaging directly with their mentees.

Am I a Good Fit?

We are looking for mentors who will be able to help their mentees navigate their career and educational goals. One important obstacle that newly arrived refugees face is overcoming cultural barriers to understanding. Even when refugees manage to quickly learn English they have to navigate a culture that they were not raised in. While similarities between Mentor and Mentee career/education path would be a benefit, the most important things a mentor can bring to the relationship are implicit cultural knowledge and a dedication to seeing the relationship succeed.

ReCONNECT Kansas Contact Information

Hayden Swanson
Refugee Youth Program Specialist

913.307.6782
hswanson@catholiccharitiesks.org

Address

Headquartered out of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ central office:

2220 Central Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66102