Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment Program (BRYE)

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PBHA’s Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment is dedicated to helping Southeast Asian refugee children adapt and flourish in an environment which offers them few resources. Our children, ages 6-16, live in Dorchester, where there is a large Vietnamese immigrant population. BRYE strives to meet the needs of the community through tutoring and mentoring programs.


PBHA’s BRYE 1-2-1 is a big sibling program for children who already have a working knowledge of English and would benefit from a one-on-one mentoring relationship. Through this program, we seek to help them experience parts of American culture they might otherwise miss, give them role models to look up to, and make friendships that endure. Volunteers meet with their little siblings once a week on Saturdays, sometimes spending time one-on-one and other times taking part in organized "optional activities" or group field trips (for example, to the Boston Children's Museum, the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey's Circus, ice skating lessons, etc.)


PBHA’s BRYE Extension teaches an academic enrichment curriculum to Vietnamese and Cape Veridian refugee children after school in a small classroom setting. There are three class levels, with the youngest class ranging in age from 6 to 8, a middle class 8-10, and a class for more advanced students generally ranging from ages 10-12. All classes focus on improving English and reading skills with the older two classes also incorporating quantitative enrichment through interactive experiments and activities. The program runs from 4:00 to 5:30 on Friday afternoons on site in Dorchester. You don't need to speak Vietnamese to join - only a smile, some creativity, and lots of enthusiasm are necessary!


PBHA’s BRYE Summer has provided academic and emotional support to Southeast Asian refugee children and their families since 1987. This summer we will serve about 90 Vietnamese children ages 6 to 14 in Dorchester. Each college-aged Senior Counselor (SC) with the assistance of a high school-aged JC fluent in both Vietnamese and English will lead a class of ten to eleven children. BRYE Summer prioritizes ESL instruction, but SCs design their own curricula and can teach any subject during each day's three hours of classroom time. SCs also lead their classes on afternoon field trips in the Greater Boston area and one weekend camping trip. BRYE Summer SCs work with refugee students and families of amazing inner strength. Our SCs also benefit from a summer spent living and working with each other in an energetic, dedicated, and supportive community. SCs receive free housing and an approximately $3400 stipend. BRYE Summer will run for two weeks of training and seven weeks of classes.


PBHA’s BRYE Teen is a program for 13-17 year-old multi-ethnic immigrant youth in Dorchester. Teen has a different focus—not just academics or mentoring, but also youth development and empowerment/diversity training. We meet every Saturday from 4-6 in Dorchester, and spend the first hour of program doing homework help and test prep and the second hour doing enrichment activities. Last year, we explored the theme of art and community and explored other modes of expression through music and art. We read people’s immigration stories, watched a youth-created documentary, and watched spoken word poetry. Each semester, we also work on a project. We finished a photography project where the teens take pictures of their community and what is important to them, and add text to tell a story. Our volunteers build long-lasting relationships with the teens, and also gain facilitation skills, as we take turns leading the discussion groups and activities. Your talents, ideas and creativity are an important part of the program!


PBHA’s BRYE Tutoring program, founded in 1987, strives to give children of immigrants from various countries (such as Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cape Verde) a foothold in America through instruction in the English language. By fostering a close, mentoring relationship between tutor and tutee, BRYE Tutoring is dedicated to bridging the cultural barrier not only through knowledge of language, but also by inspiring confidence and increasing self-esteem through a solid friendship. Tutors do not have to know any foreign languages or have previous experience in ESL tutoring to be in the program. BRYE's application process chooses highly dedicated, outstanding tutors who devote Monday or Thursday (or both!), from 3:30-6:00 pm (including travel time), to tutoring. Tutors create their own curriculum tailored to their individual student, ages 6-12. BRYE Tutoring also takes two field trips per semester.

above: On the last day of the BRYE program, counselors and students exchange fond goodbyes.
Photo Courtesy of Harvard University News Office