• Social Innovation Fellowship

Award Year 

Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE)

Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE) is a student-run organization that supports recently resettled refugees in Providence through an academic tutoring and mentoring program.  By helping students with language acquisition at this time of transition, we seek to encourage refugees to become engaged and active in their communities. Through collaboration with the International Institute of Rhode Islandand the Swearer Center, Brown students volunteering with BRYTE commit to spending three hours each week working one-on-one with their students in the students’ homes, which allows the tutors to form incredibly strong relationships with these families. This close relationship is central to the work we do, but this summer I plan to expand BRYTE’s organizational connection to the families we work with by designing and implementing a summer camp, and also drop-in tutoring hours for the students we work with.  I will also be engaging in conversations with a number of organizations to compile a number of questions for BRYTE to consider as we move forward organizationally.  Though only five years old, BRYTE has grown considerably, and our structure as changed along with it.  As we move forward, an awareness of these questions is key, as we must constantly seek to remain both sustainable and dynamic.


Personal Statement 

My freshman year, I was drawn to BRYTE by the prospect of one-on-one tutoring. I immediately fell in love with my ten-year-old tutee, Fabricio, who continually amazes me with his patience and intelligence.  I am also in awe of his tight-knit family of 18, who are incredibly supportive of one another, even with the stress of surviving on a single income.  While I could see that Fabricio and I were making real, tangible progress, I began to feel incredibly frustrated as well.  Part of this frustration was the result of watching as my tutee and his family struggled, inevitably, to begin the process of making a life in the United States.  Mostly, though, my frustration was born of a distinct feeling that I could be accomplishing more,if only I could figure out how. Though this situation is impossible and overwhelming, being a part of the BRYTE coordinating team has helped me to understand my work as part of a greater system of support.  With the Starr fellowship, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of this system, and expand BRYTE’s role within it.