Kandelia champions youth and builds them up so they can be their full authentic selves. We provide students with tools to achieve academic success, job readiness and greater self-sufficiency.
Our youth programs are based at Seattle World School, one of only a few public schools in the country designed for newly arrived refugee and immigrant youth. Each year, we work with approximately 350 students from all over the world speaking more than 30 languages. As English language learners, these youth face significant language and cultural barriers to navigating their new environment. They confront challenges accessing academic, career and community opportunities.
Kandelia meets immigrant and refugee youth where they are with programs that are culturally responsive and holistically enriching. We build strong connections with students and provide a network of support that reduces systemic barriers to success.
Our youth programs support individual and group learning using equitable and trauma-informed, restorative practices. We integrate academic and leadership support, civic and family engagement, art and culture, employment and job training, and sports and active programs — with many activities that provide support in students’ home languages. Previous students often return to volunteer or mentor current students.
Extended day programs
Our extended day programs engage students with a focus on English comprehension. We provide one-on-one homework help to put students on a path to academic success and greater self-sufficiency. We offer a range of after-school classes and activities based on student interest spanning the arts, robotics, service learning, sports and more.
Job readiness training
This year-long program helps students develop leadership and job readiness skills and prepare for post-secondary education. Students envision, plan and carry out a collaborative community service project. The program culminates in a paid summer internship. Rooted in Kandelia’s historic work and impact with the Vietnamese community, this program serves Vietnamese students and their families.
Student and family support
We work with each student one-on-one to ensure our programs meet their needs. We reduce barriers to participation, such as by facilitating access to transportation. We connect students and their families to resources that help them thrive. In partnership with the Rainier Valley Food Bank, youth can take home a weekly bag of groceries to improve their family’s access to healthy food.
Kandelia leverages our expertise to make sure that the student experience at Seattle World School is culturally responsive and meets the needs of English language learners. We provide ongoing support to other community organizations and instructional staff to help them engage effectively with all students.
“I was 13 years old… English, I knew just the basics like ask somebody’s name. When I was here I had an opportunity to communicate with other people and they push me to speak in English. Now I think that I have 4 years and my English is growing everyday.“
–Juan Carlos Vasquez