Helping Hispanic Youth Thrive: Fairfax County Study
Between 2018 and 2021, the Office of Refugee Resettlement released 86,325 Unaccompanied Children (UC) to sponsors in twenty-seven counties in the United States. More than 13,000 of these children have been placed in the Washington DC metropolitan area which is comprised of Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC. Out of this total, 3,374 youth were placed in Fairfax County and are required under Virginia law to be in our public school system. Support is needed to help Hispanic youth overcome social and economic circumstances that limit their opportunity for a higher education. We believe that our common response to this situation can determine the future, for better or worse, of Fairfax County, Virginia and other migrant-destination communities.
In order to understand and address this challenge, we are working in Fairfax County to determine how to help Hispanic youth succeed. Our approach includes (1) analyzing U.S. census data to map high-density populations of Northern Triangle origin residents, (2) determining which public schools within those communities have the highest Hispanic student enrollment (i.e., 40 percent or higher), and (3) providing information to students, parents and stakeholders of the public and private support services that are available to help address basic needs, prepare for college, and successfully complete a higher education. We use this information to focus our work, realistically define our goals, and leverage the overall impact of our activities.
Please download our analysis of Fairfax County Virginia at the link below. In this document we describe the process for targeting public schools for assistance that are most likely to have Unaccompanied Children from the Northern Triangle enrolled. We want to help bring private and public resources together to support thes children have a productive future in Fairfax County.