ourBRIDGE for KIDS supports the education, acculturation, and resilience of newly arrived immigrant and refugee children and their families in Charlotte, NC. When refugee and immigrant families in Charlotte access culturally responsive trauma-informed wrap-around care through our Family Support Team, community centered events and out-of-school programming in the context of a loving and culturally diverse community, they have an easier time adjusting to the United States and increase their health, mental health, economic mobility, and overall wellbeing. Our commitment to being responsive and equitable is in the act of knowing our students and families holistically, planning with their perspectives and experiences in mind, hiring directly from our community, continuously assessing their feedback, and understanding our own identities in relation to theirs. It is the ourBRIDGE way to center our community within our work, not center our work in the community.

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Fast Facts

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State or Local? Local
Lead Agency ourBRIDGE
Type of Agency


Racial Equity Lens
  • 80% of our staff are hired directly from the communities we work with, creating meaningful pathways of employment to those we work with, who then offer culturally relevant insight into our programming and services we offer.
  • We continuously assess families’ hopes, dreams, needs, and feedback quarterly, in order to tailor our work to their responses.
  • We honor families’ cultural heritage and joy, celebrating holidays and traditions throughout the year with our students and families, as well as offering cultural experiences during our Community Celebrations to showcase the diversity of our Charlotte community.
  • Provide a diverse, experiential, and loving after school environment to 150 immigrant and refugee children. 
  • Surveyed Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) teachers provided this feedback: 
    • Over 90% of the ourBRIDGE Kids in our after school program increased in their academic progress and engagement since joining our program
    • Over 80% of the students who were identified by CMS as Chronically Absent at the beginning of the year, welcomed summer with strong school attendance. 
  • We offered 11 Community Wellness Workshops/events (ex. health fairs, academic success workshops) and three Cultural Community Celebrations (ex. World Refugee Day, Welcoming America Event)
Next Steps
  • In 2022-2023 we will provide high touch wrap-around services to 275 newly arrived families, including 150 chronically absent elementary and high school students in order to reconnect them the school system in their first language and support CMS with connecting to 200 chronically absent high school students.
Primary Partners
  • Refugee Support Services 
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg School System 
  • Aldersgate Retirement Community 
  • Charlotte Community Health Clinic
Primary Funders
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers (federal grant)
  • United Way/Foundation for the Carolinas
  • Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
  • Bank of America
Contact Salma Villarreal

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