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Kansas refugee youth mentorship
ReConnect, a Workforce Program

Education & Career Advancement Assistance

Refugees who come to the U.S. in their teens are arriving at a critical time. They must adjust to a completely new educational system and culture. Some may have to immediately begin working full-time to support their family. This disruption to their educational process can hold these young adults back from their full potential. Conversely, refugees who have graduated from high school may need a little encouragement to help them navigate the next steps in career or education in their new country. That is where ReCONNECT comes in.

Mentorship & Support

ReConnect fills a service gap for disconnected refugee youth in Kansas. It originated as a plan to help refugee youth gain assurance  to achieve their educational and career goals.

Our main objective is to increase a sense of belonging, self confidence and motivation in refugee youth. We want to engage refugee youth in their communities and help enhance opportunities for their educational and professional growth. 

ReCONNECT is made possible through a grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement administered by the Kansas State Office for Refugees. We began our work under the grant in October of 2019 and started the program virtually in the summer of 2020.

How it Works

  • Mentees and mentors are screened to make sure we are working with individuals who are not only eligible, but are also good candidates for the program.
  • Mentees and mentors receive training to prepare for what to expect from the program and each other.
  • Mentees receive benefits including laptops that can be used throughout the program’s duration, plus invitations to quarterly events to follow up on goals and/or attend community college tours and job shadow.
  • Mentors and mentees communicate once a week virtually for a full year, and meet up in-person at least once a month.
  • Case management support is provided whenever needed, especially around school enrollment periods or in programs where job search assistance is needed.
  • There will be events bi-monthly for all program participants, falling under the following categories: social, civic, career and educational!
  • Volunteer mentors provide one-on-one career coaching and connect youth to opportunities for engagement within local organizations.

Benefits of Joining ReConnect

  • Increased self-confidence to help achieve education and career goals
  • Connections with vetted local mentors who provide guidance, support and networking opportunities for increased engagement in local communities
  • Career and education support to achieve long-term professional goals
  • Personalized case management to support individuals throughout their educational and professional journeys
  • Diverse educational and career pathway connections 
  • Partnerships with local schools and organizations that provide career and education referrals

Did You Know?

Young Adults with a mentor are:

  • 55% more likely to enroll in college
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
  • 90% more interested in becoming a mentor
  • 130% more likely to hold leadership positions
Refugee Mentee Eligibility Requirements
  • Must have lived in the U.S. for five years or less, prior to enrollment
  • Must not be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be between the ages of 15-24
  • Must be a Kansas resident
  • Must be motivated and seeking higher career or education goals
  • Must commit to the program for one year
Volunteer Mentor Eligibility Requirements
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • All ethnic, religious, gender and career backgrounds are encouraged to apply
  • Must possess a desire to make a positive impact on a young adult’s life
  • Must commit to the program for one year

Contact Us

ReConnect is part of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ Workforce Development department.
Use the form below to contact the Workforce team.
Please submit other questions to our general Contact Catholic Charities page.

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