YAP! Young Arab Program

 Our Youth Program assists young refugees with their transition into the United States.

We offer workshops on topics ranging from drug education, gang avoidance, to adapting to American culture. Regular social events include, art classes, sports, and service activities promote positive behaviors and community engagement.

AARRC’s Youth Program is designed to support youth in becoming positive productive members of American society by offering positive activities and educational support. Youth engaged in positive, community-building activities are less likely to engage in high risk-behaviors such as drugs, gangs, and anti-American groups.

IASPF’s Youth Program teamed up with Church for the Nations (CFTN) to bring the two youth groups together for a day trip to Sedona. The 15 youth enjoyed hiking, friendship, and sharing culture. At the start of Ramadan in July, the CFTN youth group hosted at a sundown meal for the IASPF’s youth.  Before the meal, AARRC’s Youth Program Coordinator led a Ramadan presentation followed by discussion.

Youth Leadership Council  AARRC’s Youth Council is comprised of Iraqi refugee youth, both newly arrived and more established, ages 15-21. The youth meet weekly and plan and implement activities, service projects, and social events. The Youth Council offers opportunities to strengthen leadership skills, and enable the youth to plan safe, fun activities that enable them to meet new friends and become more engaged in the community.

Recent Youth Council Activities:

Importance of Exercise: Members of the Youth Council embarked on a research project about the importance of exercise to maintain good health. They researched, created, and presented (in English and Arabic), a power point presentation about their findings to their families and community members. This project helped the youth identify a problem in their community (lack of exercise and health problems associated with obesity, including diabetes and heart problems) and research ways to combat this problem. Parents and community members were receptive to this approach and responded positively to the presentation. A link to their presentation is here:

Education Seminar: Phong Le, School Outreach Liaison from Catholic Charities spoke to 15 Youth Council members about educational opportunities, including High School Equivalency courses, vocational programs and higher education. Since many of the youth face difficulties with entering American schools at a grade level lower than where they were in Iraq, many students face aging out of the system before they complete high school. Learning about options, such as the High School Equivalency Exam and General Educational Development (GED) Certificate provide alternatives for completing secondary education.

Arizona State University (ASU) Campus Tour: Youth Council toured the ASU campus to learn about higher education opportunities and degree programs at the university. They visited the library, engineering schools and learned about the application process.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Service Project: The Youth Council created 50 activity books which were presented to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Service projects give the youth a chance to use their skills and talents to help others. The Youth Council is currently developing a project to bring 1,000 community volunteers together to plant 1,000 plants in Phoenix this summer. They will present their proposal at a fundraising dinner in April 2014.

My Plan PHX workshop, facilitated by Bithia Ramsitany, City of Phoenix Planning and Development, to give underrepresented communities, such as refugee youth, a voice in shaping the future of Phoenix. Participants were introduced to concepts of city planning and then created artistic representation of their ideal city.


Contact Fatima Alzeheri at falzeheri@iaspf.org for more information concerning our Young Arab Program.


One comment

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