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Spring highlights: Refugee youth scholarship and more!

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IRC San Diego: Our Impact this Spring 

Aline, who graduated in 2020, is an IRC refugee youth client. She moved to the U.S. from Tanzania in 2015 and has participated in IRC’s after-school tutoring program nearly every day throughout her high school career.

2021 Refugee Youth Scholarship supports 15 refugee youth

After adjusting to life in the U.S. and navigating an entirely new education system in a new language, refugee youth pivoted once again to remote learning due to the pandemic. To address the many challenges with remote learning for newcomer students, the IRC has continued to provide virtual tutoring, resources, and services to meet our clients where they are and ensure that they continue their education. 

Now, we are able to support refugee youth in the next step of their academic career. This year, the IRC in San Diego has selected 15 refugee youth to receive scholarships of $500 - $2,500 in critical support. This funding will go to support their first year at a two- or four-year college or university. Additionally, the IRC will be awarding students who are transitioning into a GED program to finish their primary education You can make a difference in these exceptional students’ lives with a contribution to the 2021 Youth Scholarship Fund here

In response to the pandemic and shift to remote learning, the IRC in San Diego Center for Financial Opportunity has set up programming to help refugees and immigrants of all backgrounds access digital literacy trainings and resources.

Center for Financial Opportunity continues life-changing digital literacy and access work

As part of our digital inclusion efforts, the IRC in San Diego’s Center for Financial Opportunity has been able to support refugees and immigrants alike through classes and 1:1 support with remote digital skills building. These efforts are a part of our office wide COVID response to ensure clients can continue accessing services and have the support they need. 

For households impacted by the pandemic who are lacking access, the IRC has also been able to provide Chromebooks and internet support, to help meet clients’ vocational and educational needs during this time. Clients participating in the IRC’s Vocational ESL courses, Communities in Action programs, and other services across the organization have benefited from this additional support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 



Thanks to the work of our Safety and Wellness Team, this family of asylum-seekers were finally reunited after months of separation.

Asylum-seeking family reunited after months of separation

At eight months pregnant, Farah* found herself separated from her husband, who was detained when the two entered the U.S. to seek asylum. From accessing critical prenatal care to receiving essential maternity and baby items, she was able to welcome a healthy baby boy named Mohammad just three weeks after arriving in the U.S.
IRC case workers provided comprehensive and culturally competent support for Farah, including providing her with emergency relief funds. Just a few weeks ago, Farah was reunited with her husband and thanks to Miles4Migrants the family was able to book a flight to stay with their family in Ohio.  After fleeing persecution in their home country and enduring months of family separation, Farah* was finally reunited with her family and Mohammad was able to meet his father for the very first time.
* Name changed to protect client identity


With the help of our supporters and community partners, newly arrived refugee and asylum-seeking mothers received essential items for their newborns and young children.

Refugee mothers receive essential baby items and care packages to support small children

Since January, the IRC in San Diego has provided personalized care packages, including essential items for refugee mothers who are welcoming newborns as well as items for families with small children. With help from our community, volunteers, and community partners, we have been able to support 10+ refugee and asylum-seeking women who were in need of supplies. We are especially grateful to our partner, Baby2baby, for their support in getting diapers, cribs, car seats, kids’ clothing, hygiene items, and toys to families in need. Target and Amazon wish lists have allowed our clients to receive the items they need most through timely and contactless delivery, keeping both our community, staff, and clients safe. In just a few months, we have been able to help families such as a single mother from Mexico who is survivor of domestic violence and was in need of clothing for her two daughters, and an asylum-seeking family who was living in a temporary shelter and expecting their second child (and many more!).

To learn more about in-kind donation needs for our clients, please visit our donation request page here


From all of us at the IRC, thank you to our supporters, volunteers, and partners, who made our work possible!