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Learning Lab Volunteer for Refugee-Background Youth

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  • 17 people are interested

Founded in 2010, The Refugee Response empowers resettled families to grow roots in the Cleveland area, supporting them in becoming engaged, self-sufficient and contributing members of their new communities .

Youth Mentoring Program

The Youth Mentoring Program has been a hallmark of the organization since our founding, supporting children and youth in grades 4-8 on the West Side of Cleveland through personalized academic mentoring.

We are currently recruiting Learning Lab mentors to support with refugee youth education at our classroom locations on the West Side of Cleveland (Ohio). Opportunities available: Wednesdays (3-5pm), or Thursdays (3-5pm).

Specific Duties

  • Provide academic support and social and emotional support to refugee-background youth;
  • Commit to meeting with our student cohort, staff, and other mentors in person once a week at one of our Learning Lab locations on the West side of Cleveland (OH) for two hours between 4 and 6pm OR 5 and 7pm;
  • Commit to building long-term relationships with students and supporting them at least throughout a full academic cycle.
  • Participate in our flexible educational programming with the opportunity to occasionally lead workshops on special topics after consultation with The Refugee Response staff.
  • Support student's ability to navigate their school's online portal, provide homework support, and monitor their engagement with assignments and lessons. Work with the student on supplemental learning materials, provided by the Refugee Response.
  • Refer students to The Refugee Response staff if and when students are facing challenges that require more intensive, in-person assistance.


  • Must be able to commit to at least one year of volunteering.
  • Ability to meet with students for a minimum of two hours, one day every week throughout the school year.
  • An additional 1-2 hours per month on communication with TRR staff and participating in training and other community-building events for TRR volunteers.
  • Ability to work as part of a group alongside students, other mentors and The Refugee Response staff,
  • Ability to pass a background check and undergo the training required of all volunteers.
  • Experience with volunteering and awareness of intercultural communication, migration experiences, and child education are preferred.
  • Special skills in arts education, trauma-informed care, English as a Second Language, health and wellness, or other relevant topics in youth education, encouraged.
  • Knowledge of other languages than English is a plus (particularly the home languages prevalent amongst our youth, including Arabic, Swahili, Pashto, Masalit, Karen, Kinyabwisha, etc.)

At The Refugee Response, we encourage committed, engaged, and intentional mentoring relationships that go beyond tutoring or teaching by creating ties of solidarity in our shared community. A helpful way to think about mentoring is as a relationship based on mutual accompaniment, in which you and your mentee are learning from one another. Mentors engage in active listening and recognize and respect mentees' own forms of knowledge and experience, while they support mentees to accomplish their own academic and personal goals.

Our mentors come from all different backgrounds, each with their own unique skillset. The common thread is their commitment to making our newest community members feel welcome. Mentors have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of resettled families through the simple gift of their time. By being a consistent and positive presence in the lives of your mentee you can help them build confidence and truly become a part of the community that they now call home.

Covid-19 Policy

The Youth Mentoring Program adheres to guidelines and policies that follow the guidelines, policies, and best practices of the State of Ohio Health Department, the Center for Disease Control, and mandates by the City of Cleveland. These guidelines are meant to help prevent exposure to the COVID-19 virus with the safety of both volunteers, clients, and staff in mind. Best safety practices for Covid-19 will be observed at the Learning Lab. For the safety of the community, masks are always encouraged. Further actions including temperature checks, mandatory hand washing and mask wearing, will be required as conditions warrant. All Learning Lab Mentors are required to sign a COVID-19 Acknowledgement and Waiver as part of their onboarding prior to being cleared to participate in the Youth Mentoring Program.

How to Apply

Those interested should submit an online application (https://mentoringvolunteerapp.paperform.co/) and schedule an interview with The Refugee Response to learn more about the mentoring role and the work of our organization.

Visit our website to hear what it's like to mentor from members of our current mentor team, and review program requirements. Contact Kate Nickley, Youth Mentoring Program Manager, with questions or for more information: kate@refugeeresponse.org

More opportunities with THE REFUGEE RESPONSE

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.



2054 W. 47 St, CLEVELAND, OH 44102, US

Mission Statement

The Refugee Response empowers refugees to become self-sufficient and contributing members of their new communities. The Refugee Response was formed to help refugees adjust to life in Northeast Ohio. We work to empower our area's growing newcomer population, particularly those here by providing opportunities to acquire the skills they need to succeed in their new communities.


The Refugee Response Youth Mentoring Program provides one-on-one mentorship to over fifty refugee students in Cleveland, Ohio. Recently arrived refugee families are enrolled each year and all eligible school aged children within the family are placed with a mentor to provide meaningful academic and acculturation support two hours a week over the course of two academic years. Our mentors come from a range of backgrounds and receive training and personalized resource support from Refugee Response staff, as well as benefit from a support network of other mentors working within the family. Mentors work closely with students to students strengthen literacy and math skills, provide opportunities to explore community and culture, while developing a meaningful connection with a trustworthy and caring adult. Mentors help bridge the divides of culture, communication, access, and understanding for our refugee students, their parents, schools, and the broader community.


Children & Youth
Education & Literacy
Immigrants & Refugees
Children & Youth, Education & Literacy, Immigrants & Refugees


We'll work with your schedule.


West SideCleveland, OH 44113



  • Mentoring
  • Literacy / Reading
  • Math / Science Instruction
  • English as a Secondary Language (ESL)
  • Reading / Writing
  • Cross-cultural Communication




  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • One day per week for 2 hours.

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