Mentor 17-year-old refugee from Honduras in Belding
Bethany Christian Services
We are looking for a male, Spanish-speaking volunteer to mentor a 17-year-old refugee youth from Honduras. He arrived into Bethany's refugee foster care program in November of 2019 and lived in one of our residential group homes until his move to a foster home in Belding in June 2020.
This youth's Christian faith is very important to him. He became a Christian soon after he arrived in the U.S. and this has been a pillar of strength and hope for him. His case manager shared the following: "This youth is perceptive, mature, and incredibly resilient despite the many difficulties he has faced in his life. He primarily remains positive and hopeful for his future. His faith is the reason he has been able to accept and process his mother’s unexpected death. He has struggled with being away from his family who live in Texas. He has reported wanting to stay in the Grand Rapids area or a bit to graduate from high school and resolve his legal case. However, he hopes in the future to be able to spend more time with his family in Texas and maybe move there some day. He really likes to play soccer, go fishing, and get outside, He is willing to try new things and learn more about the community. He likes watching movies and tv shows. Some of the genres are anime and Christian themed. He presents as respectful, kind, shy and quiet. When discussing the mentor program with this youth, he was hesitant at first, but agreed."
This youth has a couple of Spanish speaking foster brothers in the home. He has been struggling in school recently. The youth has been withdrawing from his foster family and friends lately, and this may be in part to the death of one of his best friends that happened over the summer. He has been dealing with ongoing depression and anxiety.
Background: This youth experienced physical abuse by his father from a young age. When he was about 7, his father left the home and did not provide any financial or emotional support to him. When he was about 10 years old, his mother took the two younger siblings and left for the United States. He was left in the care of his grandmother and aunt in Honduras. He experienced physical and verbal abuse in that household, as well as neglect. He left to reunited with family in the United States when he was 16. More information about the youth's background will be shared upon completion of the mentoring application process.
About Bethany Christian Services
1050 36th St. SE, Suite 400, Grand Rapids, MI 49508, US
Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting children, empowering youth, and strengthening families through quality social services.
For refugees fleeing danger, the search for safety can be extremely challenging. And too often, people become numbers in a system that can feel impossible to navigate. That’s why we guide, protect, advocate for, and support refugees. In the U.S., we offer resettlement and continued support services in strategic locations.
Bethany Christian Services' Refugee and Immigrant Services program encompasses adult and family resettlement as well as refugee foster care for Unaccompanied Children and Unaccompanied Refugee Minors. Our services for unaccompanied refugee youth include case management, counseling, housing (foster homes, group homes, independent living), classes (New Arrival, Life Skills, driver's training), and volunteer mentoring and tutoring.