Our Mission

Refuge is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Our mission is to empower New Americans through mentorship, exposure to higher education, and community building. We envision a world where higher education is attainable for all refugee and immigrant youth. 

 

This program focuses on college preparation, career exploration, personal development, and resource awareness through individualized online mentorship with a college student.

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Our History

In November of 2015, our founders met to discuss how they could improve the Columbus — and global — community using their shared experiences, passions, and resources.

 

When refugee and immigrant families relocate to the United States, many are scattered across the country or confined to insular communities, neither of which facilitate an easy resettlement or adjustment process. Resources are available to phase parents into working jobs and immerse children into the public school system at an early age, but high school age students often lack sufficient support to adjust. Because of these barriers, higher education is far less accessible to refugee and immigrant students, leaving them disconnected from society as they try to learn English and cultural norms, while their peers begin their transitions to college.

 

Refuge works to fill the gap in resources and pave a pathway to higher education for refugee and immigrant youth. From its inception, Refuge has developed its leadership structure, built a curriculum, launched a pilot program, and successfully established chapters at The Ohio State University, now in its fifth year, and at the University of Cincinnati.