2010 Refugee Youth Summer Academy Ends With a Bang!
After a full 4 days of Spirit Week activities which saw students of all ages participate in a Spelling Bee, a Talent Show as well as Students versus Staff Soccer and Basketball games, Friday, August 13th marked the ending of IRC-NY’s intensive 6 week Refugee Youth Summer Academy. The auditorium of the Bushwick Campus was filled with excitement at the onset of the Graduation Ceremony held for all elementary, junior and high school students. IRC New York was honored to have Yvonne Graham, Brooklyn’s Deputy Borough President, make the opening remarks of the ceremony encouraging students to pursue their dreams, no matter how great. Youth Program Director, James Lenton, and Lobsang Tashi, Student Council President, followed, congratulating students for all of their achievements and wishing them well at the upcoming start of the new academic year.
Students, parents, IRC staff, teachers, volunteers and other supporters of the Academy cheered on each class as they performed carefully choreographed dance routines and songs to mark the celebration. Each student was then individually called on stage to receive their Refugee Youth Summer Academy certificates accompanied by enthusiastic applause from the audience. For some, it was the first certificate of achievement they had ever received. For many students, the Refugee Youth Summer Academy was their first experience of an American education program - some have had the privilege of a solid education prior to their arrival in the United States, while others have never stepped inside a school before. In spite of their differences in cultural background, religious beliefs, language and educational paths, the intense bond created between each student during the Academy will set the foundation for their adjustment to their new life in New York City.
IRC-NY would like to thank everyone involved in the 2010 Refugee Youth Summer Academy, especially the staff and administrators of the Bushwick Campus who made it all possible by donating the space to run the academy; all of the teachers, peer counselors and volunteers who dedicated their time, energy and hard work for a solid 6 weeks. Last but not least, the invincible IRC-NY Youth Program team: James, Liz, Kadidja, Sara and Katerina. Bravo to all for putting together such a smashing program!
To read or hear more about the Refugee Youth Summer Academy, click on the links below: