Many of our Philadelphia immigrant and refugee constituents reside in neighborhood that are ethnically, culturally and linguistically isolated. The fact is also reflected in schools, since school attendance is largely neighborhood-based. Some of the immigrant students arrived in their teen years and go to high schools that serve LEP populations with low literacy. As a result, many of the immigrant students still haunted by the disastrous consequences of war in their home countries are disengaged, disenfranchised, lacking the confidence they need to strive academically and take on advocacy and leadership roles.  Palms Solutions aims to increase the engagement of young immigrant and refugees students in the community by giving them the opportunity. to be proud of their own identity, build their self confidence through academic achievements, and enhance their leadership skills, necessary tools to effectively motivate change and involve them in more social integration and advocacy projects. It is from that line of thoughts that the Summer program “Global Enrichment Leadership Academy (GELA)” was conceptualized. It is a program for 6th to 12th graders, immigrants and refugees students, with topics relating to Math, Sciences, Nutrition, as well as Leadership, and Heritage’s pride. Throughout the program, participants enhance their vocabulary skills, self-esteem and self-confidence, and readiness to overcome the academic challenges of their respective schools.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Global Enrichment Leadership Academy (G.E.L.A) is designed to enable immigrants students from 6th to 12th grades, to embark on academic, cultural, and social initiatives that will enhance their self-confidence, and position them on the path towards top quartile benchmarks during school year. GELA’s tools allow the students to strive Academically, by increasing from baseline in English language math and Sciences, and also exploring arts-based project that emphasize reasoning (poetic and logical), synthesis (disciplinary and cultural), and creativity. Moreover, GELA’s  Social/Emotional Learning tool capitalizes on the students  multicultural and ethnic identities to build a sense of pride, mutual respect, as well as self confidence and self esteem. Since its inception in 2013, the program continues to show success and was featured in the inquirer as one of the valuable Summer program for immigrants, click here.