Daemen College-West Side Partnership
By offering direct services and collaborating with community agencies, the Daemen College-West Side Partnership aims to address educational, economic, and environmental problems impeding the development and vitality of this neighborhood and the success of its youth.
Since 2005, Daemen College, in partnership with the Buffalo Public Schools has helped refugee teens on the West Side of Buffalo achieve their dream of succeeding in school by providing valuable after-school tutoring and mentoring through the Refugee Teen Empowerment Program. Refugee youth face many challenges. Language and cultural barriers are exacerbated as new comers are required to enroll in school immediately upon entrance to the United States. School systems place refugee youth according to age, not academic abilities, putting them at even greater risk for failure.
This program focuses on helping refugee teens –juniors and seniors at Lafayette High School in Buffalo (the host school), complete college applications and financial aid forms, prepare for New York State Regents exams and SAT/ACT tests. Daemen service-learning students serve as tutors/mentors.
One young male student, uprooted from his home in Somalia, poignantly expressed his feelings in writing:
I would like to be able to pursue my dream of becoming a social worker and begin my higher education at Daemen College. I would like to be a social worker because there are so many poor people in Africa that I have seen struggling. I was born in Somalia, where we were forced to leave because of war…we…went to a refugee camp in Kenya. There was not enough food or water forall of us. In the camp there was a lot of violence. There were two groups of people from different cultures that were fighting: the Sudanese and the Turkanas. The Turkanas killed people because they wanted food. Therefore, the camp was not safe. If I become a social worker I will be able to help peoplethat are struggling…I want to go to college because I want to make my family proud. I want to have a good future. When I get my degree I will be able to help other people from my country, and other places around the world. In June 2012, 22 of 24 seniors (92%) in the Refugee Teen Empowerment Program graduated from Lafayette High School.
Of the graduating seniors, 95% are moving on to two year or four year colleges.
That’s the best way to really get a feel for what Daemen is all about! Daemen is located in suburban Amherst, New York just minutes away from the city of Buffalo. To schedule a weekday individual interview and tour the campus, email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.462.7652.