STEPP helps immigrants and refugees in the Triad make it through high school

HIGH POINT, N.C. — For those coming to the United States from overseas, with the ambition of joining demanding fields, the American dream can seem out of sight. But, there is a program to help bring those aspirations into view.

“If you’re coming here, struggling with school, it’s a very good program,” said Mohamed Mohamed, who came to the states from Somalia.

Mohamed, a rising senior who wishes to join the medical field, is currently participating in a program called World Relief for STEPP, which stands for Scholastic Testing and Education Preparedness Program.

He, like other participants, is currently benefiting by a grant given to World Relief for STEPP by the High Point Community Foundation.

“World Relief is a non-profit organization. The mission is to assist and aid refugees and immigrants who come from different countries running away from war and human trafficking,” said Program Coordinator Jean Claude.

The program is centered around classes with the focus on foreign-born high school students. With the help of volunteer mentors, the students receive help understanding their courses, what it takes to get into college and are provided tutoring in classes they’re struggling in.

“We try to help them by making sure they understand the system. We let them know what is ahead of them, knowing you have to take the ACT and SAT,” Niyonzima said.

With the help of the community foundation’s grant, the STEPP program is able to buy books for the students, as well as provide transportation while ensuring they’re being elevated and well-nourished.

“The grant helps us when it comes to helping students reach their dreams, without it we cannot do what we are able to do,” Niyonzima added.

With the goal of investing in the students, the program helps them continue into higher education as opposed to stopping when they finish high school.

“It eases my confidence. Once you first come here it’s very hard; the language, the people, the system is very hard,” Mohamed said. “Once you come here, some people speak your language and have been here before and done this, so it helps you out a lot.”

However, the grant only goes so far. The program is still in need of well-qualified volunteers.

To learn more, visit the High Point Community Foundation website.

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