East African children born to refugee and immigrant parents face particularly unique challenges in the United States. The children are caught between communities, struggling to negotiate their cultural, linguistic, and religious identities; they are neither fully tied to long-held traditions from home, nor fully integrated into the culture of their American peers. As a result, many East African youth struggle with feelings of disconnect and social isolation.
Many East African children whose parents immigrated to the United States seeking asylum have major gaps in their education from spent fleeing persecution in their home countries, enduring long-stays in under-equipped refugee camps, and adapting to new school systems in the United States. While they require more assistance, unfortunately, East African-born parents remain ill-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of core coursework, credit requirements, and standardized testing to safeguard their children’s academic success.