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Peer Mentor, Refugee Youth Summer Academy (RYSA)

Opportunity no longer active

The Refugee Youth Summer Academy is a six-week program focusing on the English literacy, math, and learning skills newly arrived refugee, asylee, and other vulnerable immigrant youth need to succeed at their grade level in the New York City public system. Students participate in academic and physical education classes, as well as creative arts programming, including theater, music, and dance.

Field trips are held on Fridays.  Peer Mentors support the students' academic and social-emotional growth during the Academy. Peer Mentors will be placed with one class of students for the duration of the Academy, supporting Teachers to ensure productive & enriching lessons, and serving as positive role models for refugee youth. 

Major Responsibilities:

  • Participate in the All-Staff orientation/training days, as well as all program meetings and staff development activities thereafter
  • Model appropriate student behavior and academic engagement with RYSA students at all times
  • Assist teachers and staff with various classroom activities and lessons on a daily basis
  • Tutor students individually or in small groups at the direction of the teacher
  • Assist in supervision of daily student meals and student sign in/out
  • Assist teachers and staff with afternoon activities and field trips on Fridays
  • Act as a positive role model for refugee youth
  • Assist teachers and staff with classroom management
  • Complete all staff evaluation
  • Other tasks as assigned by Lead and Assistant Teachers, and RYSA staff

Learning Objectives: Peer Mentors will…

  1. Learn about the educational needs of newly arrived refugee and immigrant youth
  2. Learn how to support English Language Learning and social-emotional development
  3. Develop skills in working across lines of cultural difference 


  • Minimum age: rising high school senior
  • Ability to work well with people of diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Knowledge of classroom procedures; health and safety precautions a plus.
  • Experience working with children and/or peers highly desired
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Strong team player who is self-directed
  • Mature, reliable, flexible, and punctual
  • Second language proficiency in relevant language desirable (including French, Spanish, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Arabic, Mandingo, Bambara, Wolof, Fulani, Tibetan, Russian, Urdu, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Burmese and Nepali

Must be available for all training days and for the entire duration of the Academy.  No exceptions

To apply for a Peer Mentor position, click here.