Title

New beginnings : assimilation and integration of refugee youth in Boise, Idaho : a case study of refugee youth in Boise, Idaho

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker

Abstract

This research addresses the experiences of Bosnian and Afghani refugee youth resettled by the Agency for New Americans (A.N.A.) in Boise, Idaho as they assimilated and integrated into the community. A.N.A. is a branch of Mountain States Group, a community-based non-profit organization started in 1974. For the purpose of the study, "youth" are defined as those who arrived to Boise between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. The Bosnian and Afghani communities were chosen because they are two of the more established refugee communities in the region. The research participants had all resided in the area for more than one year. The research was conducted with the assistance of A.N.A., with hopes that the agency would be able to glean a better understanding of the refugee youth experience in Boise and tailor the assistance offered to that population to meet their needs. The fourteen participants filled out a questionnaire and participated in a semi-structured interview, giving them the opportunity to relate their experiences in their own words. It was not the goal of the researcher to interpret the statements of the participants. As a qualitative case study, the focus of the research is to allow the voices of the youth to be heard and taken as the truth as perceived by each individual.

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