Our Why – New

Refugees and immigrants make America – and its future.

Welcoming newcomers is about more than providing shelter and food. It’s about helping children find a sense of belonging and safety so they can grow into their immense potential. It’s about living up to the American ideals of welcoming those seeking safety and opportunity. 

Refugees and immigrants are the fastest-growing population in American public schools. But too often, the US school system sends a message to refugee and immigrant students that their experiences – and their identity – is what’s holding them back. 

Globally, only 34% of refugee youth enroll in secondary education and only 5% go on to higher education. Nationwide, refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than their non-refugee peers. 

Obstacles like language barriers, cultural differences, and bullying add to the pressures these students face. Current systems have no set policies, practices, or requirements for how municipal, state, and/or federal education of English Language Learners should be served. 


Once settled in the US, these children are behind their peers, both academically and socio-economically. Many have never had any formal schooling, and their parents are often unable to read or write in their native language or English. Lacking the support and guidance they need to succeed in traditional public schools, many of these children are never given a real opportunity to learn English, develop fundamental academic skills, or identify themselves as a valuable part of American society.

Built by and for refugees, Fugees Family knows this needs to change. Our model is designed to meet the specific needs of American refugee and immigrant youth navigating a new culture and community. We’re on a mission to prove that being a refugee or immigrant isn’t something to be defined by, but something to be proud of. 

With a 15-year track record of working with refugee students in school settings, Fugees Family is the only network of U.S. schools dedicated to refugee and immigrant education.The core of our model is a celebration of identity and radical self-confidence.