YALLA Helps Child Survivors of War to Get Into College
San Diego has the largest refugee resettlement city in the world, and over half of them are under the age of 18. Over the last 8 years, San Diego has taken in 30,000 refugees from all over Africa, Asia and the Arab world. Many of the children suffer from PTSD, or have been orphaned by war.
Since 1975 the United States has resettled more than 2 million refugees. San Diego County has always had a tradition of resettling refugees starting in the 1970’s when they took in tens of thousands refugees of war from Vietnam. Again, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, San Diego resettled a great influx of refugees from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Despite its past resettlement record, the last six years in San Diego have been unprecedented, making it the largest permanent refugee resettlement city in the world – with over half of refugees arriving as children.
The future strength and success of California’s economy is intrinsically connected to strategic investment in education and youth development. Studies show that early investment in student’s academic lives before 3rd grade is the most successful and cost effective way of graduating students to higher education. In light of this, the recent volume increase of California’s refugee and immigrant children and their graduation rates becomes ever more critical and tied to California’s ability to create a competitive labor force in the future.
Recently arriving to the United States, students enroll in school with optimism. However, many immigrant and refugee students do end up falling behind, with decreasing academic success over the years. The dropout rate is high: nearly 25% of foreign-born students and 16% of those with foreign-born parents do not complete high school. One factor that educators can overlook is that many immigrant and refugee students and their families face unique emotional and behavioral health issues, and these issues can serve as barriers to school success.
In partnership with Survivors of Torture, YALLA identifies youth diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and engages youth in its Ecotherapy program. Research shows us that nature helps us heal from trauma.
YALLA’s leadership program is an example of an innovative and inclusive model that has been internationally recognized. YALLA selects older refugee and immigrant youth from its competitive soccer program who have exhibited exceptional leadership skills and trains them to become coaches and leaders in its Peace Builders League and in the community.
During the school year and summer YALLA requires academic commitment from its participants; elementary to high school. In order for YALLA youth to play soccer, it is mandatory that they participate in YALLA’s education program. If a student misses tutoring, then they will miss playing in the game that week. If students do not show up, or if their grades fall, they know they will be held accountable.
To effectively promote education and engage all YALLA scholar-athletes, YALLA provides a comprehensive, four-pronged education program that consists of a wide variety of focus areas for its YALLA youth.
More About This Charity
Youth And Leaders Living Actively (YALLA)
YALLA is the first and only comprehensive program in California that uses soccer to motivate child survivors of war and immigrant youth to help rebuild their lives through our education and eco-therapy programs.
- This Achievement raised $80,000
- This charity raised $60,000 in the past year
- This Achievement helped 700 people
- This charity helped 600 people in the past year
- 100% of graduating refugee youth go on to either 4 year or Junior College.