There is still room to join the 5-day-a-week programs for refugee youth of Lynn at the New American Center. Middle and high school students have been coming to the New American Center to receive after-school help for the past eight years. These youth are refugees, new to the United States, from various countries including: Sudan, Somalia, Liberia, Burundi, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Iraq, Belarus, and more.
Programs range from ESL and homework help to art programs such as guitar and photography lessons. Every Monday through Thursday afternoons, students can come between the hours of 3 and 5 to practice their English, socialize with peers from their own or different cultures, and get help with their homework.
On Saturdays from 12-2 p.m., students are able to use the computer lab and get help with their job searches, college applications, and homework. There are also guitar lessons available and kids will enjoy lots of soccer on the Lynn Commons when the weather warms up.
“We typically have about 25 kids who come to our weekly academic programs and out of those 25 there are so many different countries represented. That makes my job very interesting and so much fun!” said Becky, coordinator of youth programs under the Russian Community Association of MA, one of the member agencies of the NAC.
Although there are 25 students that attend the 5 days of programs, about 115 are enrolled in the program as a whole, evidence of Lynn’s high refugee population.
Forming the NAC is a coalition of 7 partner agencies which all serve refugees and immigrants in Lynn. These organizations are all located in downtown Lynn in the JB Blood Building at 20 Wheeler Street.