Mentoring immigrant and refugee youth: Lessons and implications for social inclusion from Spain
WORKSHOP LED BY JUSTIN PRESTON & ÒSCAR PRIETO-FLORES
Òscar Prieto-Flores is an associate professor at the University of Girona. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Barcelona in 2007 and was Visiting Scholar in 2006 of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University, in 2012 of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University and in 2017 at the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at UMASS Boston. He is also Principal Investigator of the RECERCAIXA research project APPLYING MENTORING: Social and Technological Innovations for the Inclusion of Immigrant and Refugee Populations.
Justin Preston is a graduate student at UMass Boston’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. Hailing from Ada, Ohio, he completed his undergraduate studies at Connecticut College with a degree in Psychology. Later, he received his Master’s in Human Development and Social Intervention from New York University’s Steinhardt School in New York City. Justin’s research interests travel along interrelated tracks: the long-term impacts of mass trauma and cumulative stress on mental health, the ways that social support and interpersonal relationships can be used to transition from relief to recovery, and the use of mentoring as a context for fostering social inclusion in community settings domestically and internationally. His clinical interests include working with youth and adults who have experienced trauma and other adverse experiences.
Faced with what has been labeled the “refugees and migrant crisis” since 2015, Europe has sought ways to effectively and humanely incorporate an increased influx of migrants from Asia, North and Central Africa, and Latin America (Global Migration Data Portal, 2019). Spain, in particular, has been a prominent destination for immigrant and refugee youth given its geographic proximity to Africa and similar language to those spoken in Latin America. Mentoring has been identified as one potential mechanism by which to foster social inclusion for recently-arrived immigrant and refugee youth. The APPlying Mentoring Project, conducted across several sites in the Basque and Catalonian regions of Spain, investigated the potential and limitations of mentoring for fostering social inclusion for immigrant and refugee youth. Preliminary findings indicate important gains for participating youth in the classroom, socially, and with respect to support of gender equity. However, these findings were not found to occur evenly across all youth, with important differences depending on the year of the youths’ arrival in Spain. Such differences indicate critical lessons for mentors and mentoring programs seeking to work with immigrant and refugee youth. This session will focus not only on presenting these findings, but also on collaboratively translating the research into action for programs and practitioners alike.
Session Plan and Methods The session will consist of a presentation of the APPlying Mentoring Project, a description of the target population (recently arrived immigrants and refugees), and an overview of the findings derived from mixed-methods inquiries. Following this, there will be a discussion of the implications of the program findings, both for the APPlying Mentoring Project and for other practitioners and researchers working with immigrant and refugee youth and mentoring.
Outline of the Session
– Introduction of presenters and agenda for the session (5 minutes)
– Overview of the research on mentoring immigrant and refugee youth within the context of social inclusion (10 minutes)
– Findings from the field and research on recently arrived immigrant and refugee youth vs. those who have resided in the host nation for a greater length of time (10 minutes)
– Introduce the APPlying Mentoring Project (5 minutes)
– Research questions/hypotheses (5 minutes)
– Description of sample and methods (5 minutes)
– Results (10 minutes)
– Implications (10 minutes)
– Group discussion (20 minutes)
– Summary and next steps (10 minutes)
– Goals for the Session
The specific goals for the session are as follows:
- Review the findings from the APPlying Mentoring Project within its impacts on refugee and immigrant youth who have arrived within the previous three years and those who have arrived four years ago or more;
- Identify and discuss the strengths and limitations of mentoring programs in attempting to foster social inclusion, as well as the direct and indirect effects of the APPlying Mentoring project for recently arrived immigrant and refugee youth;
- Translate the implications for research and practice for other mentoring programs working with refugee and immigrant youth into actionable steps.