Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE) is a student-led organization that pairs undergraduate tutors with students in refugee families, the majority of which have recently relocated to Providence, RI from Burma, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Nepal.

Using a one-on-one, in-home model, BRYTE has 127 pairs of tutors and tutees focused on developing English language skills and cultural understanding. They are dedicated to building meaningful relationships, so volunteer tutors are asked to commit to their tutees for at least one year. BRYTE also offers a six-week summer camp for kids.

The award-winning program partners with the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island and the Providence Public School District to ensure that refugee children and their families are well supported in their schools and communities. The average BRYTE tutor commits five hours per week, including three hours of tutoring plus lesson planning, travel time and attending community events.

Tutors receive ongoing and participate in discussions to help deepen their practice and understand different refugee backgrounds.  Issues of self-esteem often crop off as well as schoolwork. “Conversations that go beyond coursework and events like our Thanksgiving potluck connect us to entire families, not just one tutee,” said Christine Pappas, a senior at Brown and a BRYTE coordinator. “Sometimes we eat dinner with the families to which we’re assigned, and we really bond with them over time. We’re so enriched by these relationships; we’re definitely learning from each other.”

Pappas has been personally impacted with the result that she is considering a career in education, inspired by her involvement in BRYTE. 

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Christine Pappas

[email protected]