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Keep It Real: PRYSE Academy

Keep It Real: PRYSE Academy Image
Raised toward our $6,000 Goal
24 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 02, at 12:59 AM EDT
Project Owners

Keep It Real: PRYSE Academy

Keep It Real:

Keep It Real (KIR) is a student-run volunteer organization at the University of Pittsburgh that provides personal in-home, after-school tutoring, and mentoring for the Somali-Bantu refugee population in Pittsburgh. Founded in 2004, KIR is comprised of nearly 100 student-tutors and serves approximately 35-40 families located in Lawrenceville, the Northside, Northview Heights, the Hill District, Sharpsburg, and the West End. The bonds formed between tutors and their families allow for the development of close relationships that involve mentoring students for college and career preparedness, assistance with assimilation, and introducing American cultural traditions to the families like trick-or-treating and popular culture. While we strive to introduce families to new culture, tutors also undertake efforts to help the families retain their own culture, traditions, and languages. 

Tutors realized that the few hours they spent with school-age refugee youth on homework help does not do enough to prevent regression and summer learning loss during the summer months when tutors are less available and students are away form their classrooms. Due to the unique pasts of the students, it was decided a space is needed where students build confidence through creative expression that will allow academic success and career preparedness. KIR in conjunction with FORGE, a student-run organization that advocates for more assistance to refugee families affected by humanitarian crisis worldwide, helped to initiate the creation of the PRYSE Academy.

The PRYSE Academy

Pittsburgh Refugee Youth Summer Enrichment (PRYSE) Academy was created in 2013 by a group of undergraduates from the University of Pittsburgh who tutor refugee youth in Pittsburgh through student-led public service organizations. Many of the refugee students they tutor are constantly juggling responsibilities given to them by their communities, jobs, and schools. The goal of PRYSE was to create a space where refugee youth could celebrate their identities, talk about their unique challenges, and work toward their academic and career goals FREE OF CHARGE.

PRYSE 2015 will be the 3rd session! Since its inception, it has been led by a coalition of refugee leaders in Pittsburgh and students from Pitt and Carnegie Mellon who have worked together to serve over 40 campers from the Iraqi, Bhutanese, Somali Bantu, Uzbeki, and Congolese communities. PRYSE will only be able to achieve its goals if it is able to build on its successes and grow to accommodate an increased number of campers from year to year.

With your donation, PRYSE Academy students will continue to be offered a free and extensive academic and creative expression curriculum that is developed to prepare them to graduate from high school and excel in their professional careers. There are various costs of running a successful summer program: food, transportation, supplies, speakers, workshop leaders, and field trips are a few examples of what campers need. Your investment in PRYSE will ensure that we can continue to provide free and worthwhile summer opportunities that support refugee youth to actualize their potential.


Choose a giving level



At this level, you will fund art supplies for 1 student for 1 week.



At this level, you will fund a week's worth of lunch for a PRYSE Academy student.



With this donation, we will be able to send 5 students on a museum trip to Phipps Conservatory. As a thank you, we will send you a picture from the PRYSE Academy.



Your contribution will help to fund a workshop for the kids to learn different forms of creative expression. As a thank you, we will send you a hand-written thank you note from the PRYSE students, and you will receive a picture from the PRYSE Academy.



Your gift will fund one of our non-profit partners to teach a series of skills-based lessons in academic preparedness. You will receive hand-written thank you note from the PRYSE Academy, along with a PRYSE Academy picture, and an invitation to the final talent-show performance.



Support at this level will fund a field trip for the students to journey to the Science Center. As a thank you, you will receive a framed picture, hand-written thank you note from a PRYSE Academy student, and an invitation to the final talent-show performance.



Your donation will provide transportation for all PRYSE students to get to and from the camp. As a thank you we will send you a framed picture, hand-written thank you note from a PRYSE Academy student, and an invitation to the final talent-show performance.

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