Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Dr. John Ungerleider



Building community in youth programs is a necessary and effective way to support the human developmental needs of refugee and immigrant youth by way of facilitating cultural integration. The intentional processes of building community in the after school mentoring programs for refugee and immigrant high school students at Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees (PAIR) in Houston, Texas are essential to the program’s overall success and mission fulfillment. Specific methodologies of building community include activities such as icebreakers, name games, teambuilders, and unstructured relationship building time. Crucial factors that a facilitator should be cognizant of when implementing community building strategies in PAIR programs, are: What to expect in the stages of group development and minimizing the potential disruptiveness of integrating new students, the barriers to cultural integration refugee youth face, patriarchal values inherent in many refugees’ cultures due to war time exacerbation that starkly contrasts community building theory and practices, and the logistical challenges and derailment of community building efforts of PAIR staff due to lack of organizational support. Additionally, to serve as also a practical guide for similar program structures serving similar populations, the methods of addressing these factors are discussed, including previous successful implementation of community building tactics in PAIR programming.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


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