In 2013, a group of students from the University of Pittsburgh - including our Executive director Jenna Baron - noticed that the refugee students they were tutoring over the school year were facing social isolation and a loss of English skills over the summer months. In order to improve students’ English Language Skills through creative expression, PRYSE Academy was created.
As time progressed, it became apparent that our students, staff, and volunteers wanted to interact beyond the summer months. This realization led to the founding of our organization, ARYSE.
Since establishing ARYSE Academy, ARYSE has expanded its programming to include a Girls Art and Maker Group that meets monthly and an after school program in Crafton Heights that meets twice week. All programs are designed specifically for refugee and immigrant youth.
In addition, ARYSE programs are planned around 4 major themes that build on our students natural resiliency and talent including: English language learning, academic preparedness, storytelling through creative expression, and team building through sports.
Our goal is ultimately to prevent the social isolation of refugee and immigrant youth by supporting them in becoming academically successful and engaged members of the broader community.
Before expanding, we aim to continue to develop and enhance our organization and current programming.