our mission is to show the love of Jesus to refugees by helping them heal, learn, and direct their own future for good.
The Global Challenge
Around half of the world’s refugees are children under 18 years of age. They often miss school for long periods, in some cases years, which puts them at risk of missing out on education. This can affect them for the rest of their lives. Around 6 in 10 go to primary school, but just 1 in 4 go to secondary school, and only 3% will go to a university or other higher education institution later in life.
The Local Challenge
Nashville has the most diverse school system in the state, drawing refugees from as far as Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Kurdistan, Syria, and Nepal. Nearly 58,000 refugees have found a home in the city's South Side, where they also attend school. While the refugee numbers increase year to year, academic performance is not improving. In Tennessee’s 2016 State Test, immigrant and refugee students scored well below their peers.
Tennessee Refugee Students
All Tennessee Students
Students from the bottom 25% lack access to deeper learning that helps build core skills and are not on track to develop the skills and networks necessary to lead in the 21st century economy. * Citizen Schools
Children who have experienced trauma, such as refugees, are two times more likely to develop depression and three times more likely to develop anxiety disorders.
THE NEED IS MULTILAYERED
our holistic approach
reach a child.
raise a leader.
Through our after school and summer camp programs, UP Nashville provides opportunities for elementary school refugee students to improve their academic and social-emotional competency, establish positive relationships, explore the arts, and nurture their faith.
Through our StreetLeader program, UP Nashville employs high school refugee students as leaders and mentors for the elementary students. These teens receive extensive leadership development, job training, academic support, mentorship, and emotional support to help them succeed in and outside of the program.
UP Nashville’s ultimate goal is to raise up youth into leaders who are passionate about restoring their communities and advancing the Kingdom of God. Our great hope is to disciple and equip the refugee youth of Nashville to share the love of Jesus to those around them.