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Summer Volunteer Tutoring Opportunity at Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America (FORA)

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Recruiting Organization: Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America ("FORA")

We at FORA are honored to invite you to help us spread the word and/or apply for our 2022 Summer Volunteer Program. Last summer we ran our first program with great success, welcoming Undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. level volunteers from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Amherst, Wellesley, and more. The positive atmosphere of our learning center cannot be described succinctly, but it is telling that we regularly attract visitors who are drawn in off the street as they pass by. The happy energy and active learning are palpable even through the windows of our storefront, with visitor after visitor saying that our storefront "glows." Nobody can resist the joy of helping refugee children learn to read -- and that joy resounds throughout the welcoming space that we have together created.

General Position Description: Delivers cutting-edge High Dosage Tutoring ("HDT") to seventy formerly pre-literate SLIFE (Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education) refugee students in grades K through 12 from Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria, and Bhutan. The goal is to ensure that educational gaps are filled and that the students catch up to grade level. This is an unpaid volunteer position.

Dates & Times: Our summer program will run nine weeks, from June 20, 2022 to August 19, 2022. While we prefer volunteers to stay for the entire duration of our summer program, in some cases we will be willing to discuss the possibility of six week timelines. Volunteers can also choose to apply to either a half day (8:45am - 1:30pm) or full day (8:45am - 4:45pm) programming. Half days will consist of tutoring, and full days will consist of tutoring in addition to roles described in Learning Outcome #4 (see below). There is a possibility that tutoring may not start until July 5; if this is the case, there will still be much valuable work to be done until then in preparation for tutoring to begin.

Philosophy: We are a community, and we invest in each other every day. We want our volunteers to have robust experiences at FORA and to help them on their journey as they search for and discover their life calling. We elevate people who show talent and dedication, regardless of age or resume. For example, a FORA college volunteer was hired full time after graduating to the job of Director of Outreach. Within months on the job, she was elevated to Chief of Staff despite being the youngest person on staff.

Location: The site of FORA’s empowerment center, 6431 N. California Ave, Chicago, IL, 60645. This is in the West Ridge neighborhood, known as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the United States, with 43% of the population foreign-born, with 40 different languages spoken, and with more than 60% speaking a language other than English as their home language. It is a wonderful place to live or just to spend a summer.

Qualifications: As you will be teaching reading in English to preliterate students, you need to be able to fluently read in English. If you can read well in English, you have the educational qualifications for this job. We value patience, kindness, wellness, intercultural connection, a passion for learning and a determined resilience... and modeling these values for others. All tutors must undergo a formal background check to work with the children.

Recommendations and Awards: If you meet the necessary criteria, FORA will nominate you for a prestigious Presidential Volunteer Service Award. We also endeavor to truly get to know each of our volunteers so that upon completion of the program, we can write robust letters of recommendation for future jobs and grad school applications.

Application process and deadlines: Please apply through our online portal at VOLUNTEER | Refugee FORA by April 15th.

Learning outcome #1: Volunteer will learn how to view and deliver educational services through a social justice lens that values not only solidarity but also subsidiarity and sustainability.

Learning outcome #2: Volunteer will learn how to implement High Dosage Tutoring (HDT) strategies, a form of tutoring that has recently been recommended by numerous institutions to accelerate student learning.

Learning outcome #3: Volunteer will learn how to support and empower refugee students. Most of the students with whom we work are Rohingya students from Myanmar. The Rohingya have been subject to ethnic cleansing and/or genocide and have been identified by the United Nations as the most persecuted minority on Earth. However, they are also not only resilient but also highly motivated to obtain a robust education.

Learning outcome #4: Volunteer will become familiar with and involved in the inner workings of a quickly growing nonprofit organization, as afternoons at FORA are spent working on all of the "behind the scenes" aspects of running an organization, including administration, program development and implementation, outreach, fundraising, data collection and analysis, recruitment, and more

Stipend ProvidedFalse

Training ProvidedFalse

Housing AvailableFalse

Language/Cultral Support AvailableFalse

Wheelchair AccessibleFalse

Fee RequiredFalse

Fee Amount: None

This opportunity is recurringFalse

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389 5th Ave, 9th Floor, New York, NY 11109, US

Mission Statement

To bridge the gap between intention and action in order to bring about social impact.


Idealist is a leading online global resource for finding jobs in the nonprofit sector, as well as volunteer opportunities and graduate school programs for social impact.


Children & Youth
Children & Youth, Community, Politics


We'll work with your schedule.


6431 North California AvenueChicago, IL 60645







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