Multicultural integration in the United States is under fire. Fear-mongering and prejudice are rampant. It’s time to empower and give a voice to young adults to change the discourse in this country. SHIM’s Youth Mentoring program serves bright, inspired young adults from Nepal, Burma, Bhutan, and Thailand. They are typical teens with hopes and dreams, finding their way as the first generation to be educated in the United States. They face unique challenges and, despite having a great deal in common with their American-born peers, they are often misunderstood or worse, disenfranchised.
Two Cultures, One Me gives these refugee teens a chance to share their personal stories, and demonstrate that there is more that unites us than divides us. The SHIM Youth Mentoring program will give voice to their stories, exploring the opportunities and challenges of acculturation. Teens will create a photo exhibit and digital media project, under the guidance of professional writers, photographers, and digital media experts who will work individually and collectively with the teens. They will present their projects at two local presentations, and the work will be showcased on SHIM’s digital platforms. As a result, the teens will gain valuable skills in leadership, artistic expression, and public speaking. The United States represents freedom and opportunity to all people who seek it. Every day, SHIM works to help people of all backgrounds realize their potential. The 100 Days of US project will demonstrate that despite our different backgrounds, we are one people. And we are stronger, together.