Breaking the barrier 

Von Steuben students use ice cream and soccer to connect with local student refugees.

October 05, 2009

Community service was a big component of the Freshman Connection program at Von Steuben High School, 5039 N. Kimball Ave., this summer.


Throughout the course of the program, students learned about the conflicts occurring in Uganda and other parts of the world by viewing the film “Invisible Children.” After seeing the graphic depictions in the documentary, students wanted to help.


Show and tell

To demonstrate how local organizations provide aid, Von Steuben asked the Interfaith Refugee Immigration Ministries (IRIM) to teach students about refugees and how IRIM assists refugees in Chicago.


A Congolese student speaker also shared his story of seeking asylum in Chicago. He spoke to students about life in the refugee camps and about his new life in the city. After hearing his story, Von Steuben students decided they wanted to help all refugee families living in Chicago.


The community is at your service

For a service-learning project, Von Steuben students set up a supply drive to assist Chicago refugee families. Students spent the summer educating their families, friends, and neighbors about child soldiers and refugees. Students also collected school supplies and backpacks for child and adult refugees along with toiletries and household supplies for their apartments.


Are you ready for some fútbol?

In America it’s called soccer, but outside of the United States it’s known as fútbol. Regardless of what it’s called the love of the sport is still the same.


After learning of the shared passion for soccer among the Congolese student and Von Steuben students, the school decided to organize a soccer match and ice cream social at River Park. Von Steuben students got a chance to mix and mingle with refugee students and learn valuable lessons about different cultures and experiences.


Learn more about Von Steuben High School.



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