Pittsburgh Assistance Center for Educators and Students

"PACES has been one of the most helpful and knowledgeable organizations that the Pittsburgh Refugee Youth Summer Enrichment Academy (PRYSE) has partnered with. The staff truly understood the struggles that our refugee campers faced and helped to create programs specified to their unique needs. One of our campers raved about our visit to WQED, telling us that it was one of the favorite places he has ever visited. Everyone that we worked with through PACES was eager to help and provide their resources to our project. I look forward to future collaborations with PACES and would recommend their programs to any educator!"


Workshops for the Pittsburgh Youth Refugee Summer Enrichment Academy

Connecting Curriculum and Community

Campers gather outside the William Pitt Union after touring Oakland architecture.

On August 12, PACES volunteers led students on three separate tours of Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, highlighting various architectural elements and buildings. This tour was set up to help PRYSE students build confidence in discussing architecture. PACES introduced new vocabulary and encouraged students to explore the buildings surrounding them.

On August 13, PACES provided a morning workshop on public speaking and classroom activities to help students practice for potential upcoming job interviews. PACES was very impressed with the students' work ethic, participation, and future career goals. 

In the afternoon, PACES partnered with WQED for another field trip. Students broke into two groups and toured the multimedia station. Students also completed a classroom activity where they came up with a "Program Pitch" for a new WQED television show. Again, PACES was highly impressed with the students' creative ideas!

PRYSE is run by an all-volunteer staff of undergraduate students from Pitt and CMU. PACES thanks PRYSE for their hard work and commitment to the education of Pittsburgh's youth refugee population. It was an honor for us to work with PRYSE and meet these wonderful, energetic, and talented students! PACES also thanks our volunteers who helped make these workshops and field trips successful, including Amy Cymbala from the University of Pittsburgh's History of Art and Architecture Department, Maria Pisano from WQED, and PACES board members.

PACES believes students of all ages benefit by connecting to the community. We strive to assist teachers in forming such connections by providing quality outreach programs at no cost. This August, we provided three workshops/field trips to students and counselors attending the Pittsburgh Refugee Youth Summer Enrichment Academy (PRYSE). This camp is run by undergraduate students from Pitt and CMU and is for students between ages 12 and 16. PRYSE campers come from different refugee populations, including Bhutanese, Somali-Bantu, Congolese, and Uzbek. 

Lauren Benish, co-directory of PRYSE Academy, reflected on the experience:






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