YOUTH AT RISK

When a child, ages 14 – 18, arrives in New Bedford after a long and dangerous journey from their home country, often without an adult, they can face violence and inconsistent or no place to live.  Legally, they are required to attend school, although the pressure to financially support themselves (and, often, the household in which they’re living) is in direct conflict with their academic requirements.  For example, a student may leave school at 3 p.m. and go directly to work, returning home at 3 a.m. Importantly, when they stay in school, and meet basic attendance requirements, these undocumented minors are protected from deportation.

The IAC case manager works with these students to identify and help them integrate into the country, the city, the school, and their living situation. Examples include:

  • English language learning
  • Health screenings
  • Referrals for housing
  • Psychological counseling
  • Food and clothing via the program’s “Whaler’s Attic” pantry, including prom dresses
  • Information regarding paths to citizenship
  • Translation services including verbal translation of documents, interpretations during student/parent meetings and working with school administrators to translate the MCAS presentation for English language learners
  • Explanation of the consequences of criminal activity on citizenship and work status
  • Help completing summer job applications including obtaining employment references
  • Eligibility for asylum status
  • Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligibility and re-application, including identifying sources of funding to cover the $465 DACA re-application fee
  • Collaboration with the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) to determine which colleges enroll students who lack immigration status

This program is made possible by funding from an anonymous donor through the Cove Foundation, the Grimshaw-Guidewicz Foundation, and support raised from the Morrissey Blvd Benefit Concert.

 

Our coordinator Liz Lozada has experience getting teens the resources they need. Contact her by filling out this form, and she will connect with you as soon as possible. Your information is kept private. 

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Our Case Managers

Our case managers are multi-lingual, speaking five languages, and multicultural, able to fully understand the subtleties of culturally-based dreams and fears.