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Nonprofit

Refugee Education & Adventure CHallenge (REACH)

Joined in May 2019

About Us

Refugee Education & Adventure Challenge (REACH) is a nonprofit agency providing experiential learning opportunities focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, & Math) education and adventure sports to refugee youth, ages 11-18 (5th thru 12th grade), who are at-risk due to integration barriers (language, cultural adjustment, education) and other factors (gang recruitment, violent crime, discrimination/bullying). REACH helps integrate newcomers into the social fabric of the areas in which they are being resettled.

Our mission is to inspire leadership, academic success, and connections among refugee youth through active dynamic learning outside the traditional classroom. Short-term objectives are to build leadership skills, enhance outdoor experiences, reduce youth isolation, expand family activities, build practical STEAM skills, and provide career development. REACH engages refugee youth in outdoor education and adventure sports, helping them to foster connections, enhance knowledge and leadership growth, improve health and fitness, and develop a sense of stewardship of public lands. 

REACH is unique in its focus on breaking down social, economic, and place-based barriers with experiential learning and adventure therapy methods. Our vision is to build a sense of space and learning through an engaged network of refugee youth, their families, and adult mentors. REACH program participants gain skills in English language proficiency, interpersonal dynamics, teambuilding, leadership, STEAM education (i.e., living organisms, stream ecology, nature photography, urban habitats, sustainable cities), service learning, and outdoor adventure sports like paddling, biking, hiking, climbing, archery, fishing, skiing, snow tubing, ice skating, and camping.

Refugee families with youth members participating in REACH also receive support services, such as in-depth intake and follow-up assessments, home visits, and workshops on schooling in the United States, parent engagement, community connections, post-secondary education options, financial assistance and scholarship options, and career exploration for their children. REACH families are invited to accompany their children at annual picnic award ceremonies and periodic family adventure weekends. 

Refugee Education & Adventure Challenge (REACH) is a nonprofit agency providing experiential learning opportunities focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, & Math) education and adventure sports to refugee…

Issue Areas Include

  • Children & Youth
  • Education
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Immigrants or Refugees
  • Sports & Recreation

Location

  • 743 North Taylor Avenue
    Oak Park, IL 60302

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