THE GROWING NEED
Teen Response (TR) has grown dramatically in 2022, tripling the number of high school refugee students receiving tutoring, college and career guidance, academic case management and wraparound services for their families. As the refugee population has grown in Northeast Ohio, TR responded to the needs of high school students by expanding the original program at John Marshall High School and opening two new sites.
Teen Response is an innovative program whose goal is to support resettled high school students as they define and pursue pathways towards educational and career goals.
Opening in 2018, John Marshall High School was the first Teen Response site for refugee high school students. Our program at John Marshall continues to have a 100% graduation rate! In 2022 we expanded the program from 35 refugee students to 65 by adding drop-in tutoring sessions during the school day as well as after school. This increased access and reduced barriers for students unable to stay after school because of jobs or family responsibilities.
In 2022 Northeast Ohio continued to see an influx of Afghan families fleeing the Taliban and then more recently Ukrainian families escaping the war in their country. To address the needs of these newcomer students, a second Teen Response site opened at the International Newcomers Academy in early October for Afghan students. Since October we have provided in-school and after-school tutoring and English language lessons for 40 Afghan students.
In late October, a third site was opened at Valley Forge High School in Parma for Afghan and Ukrainian students. We had 8 Afghan students and a dozen Ukrainian students participating. It has been a year of tremendous growth for the Teen Response program but most importantly, growth for the students.