The Afrique Service Center's mission is to promote social justice and equal access for Washington refugees, immigrants, and minorities through family advocacy, domestic violence prevention, gang intervention, cultural and education awareness, tutoring, and referral services.
Powerful Schools, which recently merged with the YMCA, works to reduce the achievement gap by partnering with public schools to help children thrive.
ESN awarded the grant to Afrique Service Center so that they could partner with Powerful Schools to:
- Increase the awareness and capacity of English language learners (ELLs), immigrant, and refugee families to effectively advocate for their child's education via the A+ Washington Plan and ESN's 2014 policy priorities.
- Develop more leadership capacity among ELL, immigrant, and refugee families to increase participation and their role in the A+ Washington Plan and ESN's 2014 policy priorities.
- Additionally, the two organizations would help increase active participation in ESN and support of A+ Washington by East African/ELL communities.
Reflecting on the year, League of Education Voters CEO Chris Korsmo said, "We were pleased to have the Afrique Service Center involved with the ESN Coalition, and I am pleased that ESN was able to support their work. The Afrique Service Center's active participation in ESN events, including the 2014 Annual Legislative Luncheon, brought a new and powerful perspective to the table and ensured that ESN considered the needs of all students in developing their priorities for the 2015 legislative session."
The Afrique Service Center Director Mohamed Sheikh Hassan says that the work with ESN has been "transformative" for the community members they work with: "Many of the members of our community are single mothers who know nothing about the education system. The idea that they had the right to advocate for their own children and the access to visit elected officials and speak with them about their concerns was amazing. Without ESN's support, we would not have been able to empower our community members to learn how to advocate and ultimately do so."
Learn more about the Afrique Service Center on their website.