BRYTE (Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment) was established by a Brown student, Leah Harrison, who had been volunteering in English classes at the International Institute of Rhode Island. During the classes, daycare was provided for the youngest
children, but it was clear that the older kids had nowhere to be. It also became clear that these kids were not receiving any supplementary help in learning English outside of school. Seeing this as a pressing need, Leah pulled together some of her
friends to begin working with a few kids in their homes, to help them with their English. Ultimately, BRYTE grew out of this informal group and has grown immensely over the years.
Founded in 2006, BRYTE is a student-run organization that matches Brown students with recently-resettled refugee youth in Providence. Brown students tutor one-on-one in their tutees’ homes for a minimum of three hours per week. As Brown’s largest service organization, we typically have around 140 tutor-tutee matches per year.
BRYTE has received numerous awards since its inception in 2006. Most recently, BRYTE won the 2017: Student Leadership Award: Best Collaboration from Brown University for our collaborative effort with Impulse Dance Company. We have also been the recipients of the 2013 Student Leadership Award: Forming Partnerships from Brown University. Additionally, the Swearer Center awarded BRYTE three Starr Social Entrepreneurial Fellowships, the most recent of which was used to launch BRYTE Summer Camp in 2011 (which is today known as Camp RYSE). The summer camp also received the Community Partner Award in 2012 from the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island in recognition of the camp's social impact in Providence. In 2012, BRYTE received an honorable mention for the MacJannet Prize from the MacJannet Foundation for its exceptional community engagement.
We support the self-empowerment of refugee youth through providing academic tutoring and mentoring, as well as by fostering a greater sense of community among students who share experiences of settlement in the United States.
Whole Child, Whole Families, Whole Care
We recognize that no child learns in a vacuum. Every child’s wellbeing, ability to learn, and life at home are deeply intertwined. We also recognize that every child is different, with unique needs, strengths, histories of trauma, and relationships to school. For these reasons, we provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring and commit to meeting our youth where they are and as they are. Our goal is overall wellness, rather than a sharp focus exclusively on academic outcomes.
We are a group of undergraduate, medical, and public health students, who are also advised by a board of high school-aged alumni of BRYTE. We believe in the unique power, energy, and creativity of student organizations and student movements. We believe student leadership benefits everybody in our program, creating deep relationships that transform both refugee youth and students in higher education.
We recognize that every refugee child and refugee family has a unique journey to adapting and thriving in a new environment. For this reason, we work with both newly-arrived youth and youth who have lived in the United States for some time. We do not adhere to a fixed policy at which we “phase out” our youth but address each case on an individualized basis. We form deep relationships with our students and families that often last long beyond tutoring. As our students grow, we create opportunities for them to exercise leadership and service in their communities.
Self-Reflection and Accountability
We diligently document our work and create layers of accountability at every step. Our work is supervised and closely advised by experts, and we engage in formal didactic trainings alongside our learning-by-doing. We are transparent about how we spend our resources and regularly report our process and outcome measures to our supporters. We evaluate our impact both quantitatively and qualitatively and practice deep self-reflection, striving always to improve our work.
We recognize that it is impossible to engage in this work without being deeply moved by it. We are here to share ourselves with our youth and to create the space for them to share themselves with us and with each other. We embrace emotional honesty, joy, and above all, love.
Brown University Medical School, BRYTE Advisor
Brown University Medical School, BRYTE Advisor
Our PartnersBRYTE is currently partnered with the Warren Alpert Medical school of Brown University, Camp RYSE, and Paper Airplanes.Historically, BRYTE has partnered with the Providence
Public School District and the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island to provide strong support for our students. Specifically, experts from these groups have provided volunteer trainings and advising. Additionally, we have collaborated on
projects with New Urban Arts, AS220, the Providence Youth Student Movement, the Environmental Justice League, Providence Student Union, Providence Community Libraries, the YMCA, the Providence After School Alliance, College Crusades, College Visions,
as well as multiple Brown and RISD student groups.We recognize that Providence is a city with a wealth of incredible youth programs, as well as a network of multiple stakeholders who care deeply about refugee youth and families. Specifically, we wholeheartedly
support the work of the Dorcas International Institute, the Refugee Dream Center, and multiple refugee-led organizations.
More info about CAMP RYSE:Camp RYSE, formerly known as BRYTE Camp, was founded in 2011 by college students, refugee youth, and community partners. Camp RYSE brings together 80-100 refugee youth in Providence for five weeks of summer learning. The mission is to foster community, confidence, and joy among refugee youth through creative, student-centered learning and leadership development. Camp is run every year by a majority-refugee staff, many of whom are high school and college students who grew up in the program. The Refugee Dream Center partners with Camp RYSE to support the strong refugee community in Providence. Camp RYSE is legally and financially independent from Brown University, undergraduate and graduate entities alike. For more information please contact Camp RYSE email or visit their website