Ramadan: Research, Write, Present

Eid Al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday celebrating the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. This is the day when Muslims offer special prayers, greet each other with “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid”) and after a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, break the fast with a sumptuous meal and community gathering.

ReWA Youth Instructor, Seth Walker said, “Not everyone in the group is familiar with Ramadan, so this is a learning experience in more ways than one.”

The group project is part of ReWA’s Youth Job Readiness Training (YJRT) program, where youth from immigrant and refugee families from all over the world work in teams to research and create presentations to develop job readiness and life skills that will bring them success.

Students learn to conduct research online, participate in interviews, collaborate in teams and finish by offering a culminating presentation for students, parents and staff. This year, three groups decided to create presentations on the topics of immigration in America, the higab (headscarf) and Ramadan.

These student-led projects emphasize collaboration and creativity. “ReWA students are learning to pitch themselves and their ideas with the added pressure of doing so in a new language, English,” said, Kimberly Lee, Youth Program senior coordinator.

“All of our students are English language learners. But with our weekly virtual meetings, we give them the support to develop the confidence to do it,” said Seth. The program also has an advocacy component and ReWA invites speakers from a variety of job fields to share their work experience. They recently invited staff from Seattle Public Schools’ African American Male Achievement program to speak about life principles such as self-motivation, being impactful at school, and how to have a good work ethic –which they take apply in all areas of life.

Seth said YJRT sparks them to start thinking about what they want to do next in their lives—and plan the concrete steps to help them succeed. “This can be securing a summer internship, writing their first resume, or giving a presentation.”

He added, “These students have big dreams: to be doctors, nurses, artists and software engineers. At ReWA, we give them encouragement, help them visualize their futures. And then we help them hone their skills to make this a reality.”