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  • amie@studentswithoutlimits.org
  • +1 858 880-7094

Immigrant Youth Program

Immigrant undocumented students represent one of the most vulnerable groups served by U.S. schools. Just 54 percent have a high school diploma, compared to 82 percent of their U.S. born peers. Only 5 to 10 percent of graduates continue their education and enroll in an institution of higher education, and far fewer graduate with a degree. In California, the state with the largest number of immigrants, children of undocumented immigrants are 13.5 percent of students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12.*

Immigrant youth and their families also experience high levels of stress from immigration-related issues. Many youth do not learn of their immigration status until high school. In addition to immigration challenges, many are from low income families and lack access to critical social services.*

Studies suggest that one crucial factor in academic success has been support from caring adults in their lives.*

SWOL’s Dynamic After-School Workshops 

Home and Immigrant Youth
  • Provide caring confidential support through what students call “little family meetings”
  • Serve undocumented students and U.S. citizen students whose parents are undocumented
  • Educate students on important immigration policies through attorney-led groups
  • Facilitate support groups and Dreamers’ Clubs within schools
  • Connect youth and their families to critical resources
  • Keep track of students through high school and college

From Our Students

“I love our little family meetings.” ~Maria, 12th grader


“After attending the after-school workshops for months, I spoke with Mrs. Scully after class. That conversation changed my life. She said that I might be eligible for a U-Visa because I was a victim of domestic violence. I could not stop crying. It was like someone gave me a new life. She connected me to an attorney and has stayed close to me while my paperwork is being processed.” ~Selena, 12th grader


“We all came together in a circle. We each opened up about our stories of how we came to the United States as young children and the struggles we have experienced. When I heard those other stories I could relate and connected with other classmates in a way I had never before. I am in a new place now, a safe environment, because we are all in this together.” ~Florencia, 12th grader


 “You have been such an inspiration to me. Without you, the Dreamers’ Club would not have succeeded as much as we did. Thank you for all your help. It means so much to me.” ~Anayeli, College Freshman

Nearly all of SWOL’s students were brought to the U.S. as babies. Over half have GPA’s of 3.5 and higher. For years, they’ve worked as hard as their peers, but lack access to the same opportunities. Nearly all students live in unsafe neighborhoods and without resources to improve their prospects. We are changing that by bringing the resources to them.

REACH OUT for immigrant youth living in the shadows, and contact us for resources.

*Sources for statistics include Perez, Zenen Jaimes. “Removing Barriers to Higher Education for Undocumented Students.” Center for American Progress: 2014; Passel, Jeffrey S. and D’Vera Cohn. “A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States.” Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, 2009; “National Institutions Coming Out Day Toolkit: Institutional Policies and Programs with & for Undocumented Students.” United We Dream, 2015; Edwin Rubenstein. “The Economic Case for a Moratorium on Immigration.” The Social Contract Journal, 2011; Suarez-Orozco, Carola et al. “I Felt Like my Heart was Staying Behind: Psychological Implications of Family Separations and Reunifications for Immigrant Youth.” Journal of Adolescent Research: 26, 222-257 (2010); Arbona, Consuelo et al. “Acculturative Stress Among Documented and Undocumented Latino Immigrants in the United States.” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences: 32(3), 362-384 (2010); Enriquez, Laura. “Because We Feel the Pressure, We Also Feel the Support.” Harvard Educational Review: Vol. 81, No. 3, 2011.