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  • 6 people are interested

Learning Lab Volunteer for Refugee-Background Youth

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  • 6 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 K-8 on the West Side of Cleveland through personalized academic mentoring. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed a remote learning mentoring program to better serve the youth and families we work with.

We are currently recruiting Learning Lab mentors to support with refugee youth education at our classroom locations on the West Side of Cleveland (Ohio). As a Learning Lab mentor, you will participate in dynamic group-based programming for resettled youth ages 7 to 16 years old, including academic support, ESL support, arts enrichment, health and wellness, and socio-emotional support. You will also have the opportunity to work with students on a one-on-one basis, and propose special topics educational workshops for youth. You can offer a resettled student in the Cleveland area much needed academic support, greater confidence in English language skills, and you can empower them to actualize their own personal and educational goals.

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 5pm 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.
  • 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.

How to Apply
Those interested should submit an online application 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 Alexandra Magearu, Mentor Support Coordinator, with questions or for more information:

Safety Measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Volunteers, staff and mentees are asked to observe social distancing measures as much as possible at the Learning Lab.

Masks are required at all times while at the Learning Lab, and must cover your nose and mouth. Cloth masks are fine.

Sometimes it can be tough for kids to make the adjustment to masks. Volunteers and staff should help to strictly enforce this rule and remind clients when needed to adjust their masks. This is the single greatest tool we have for managing spread.

Face shields will be available for students, staff, and volunteers. Use of a face shield is optional. Only one face shield will be provided per person for consistent use thereafter and should not be shared. Face shields should be labeled with the user's name with permanent marker. Anyone who is assigned a face shield is responsible for taking their shield home with them, sanitizing their shield, and bringing it back for future use. Face shields may not be left at the Learning Lab between visits.

Students who are not from the same household must adhere to social distancing from other students or individuals at the Learning Lab.

More opportunities with THE REFUGEE RESPONSE

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.



2115 W. 42 St, CLEVELAND, OH 44113, 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


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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