By: Max Creager ~Staff Writer~
Muskie Tigers is a student run organization centered on tutoring, mentoring and integrating refugees studying at Withrow High School (WHS). The refugees come from very diverse backgrounds including Central Africa, Central and South America and Nepal. The organization started when a group of Xavier students, fulfilling the service-learning component of an immigration and ethics theology course, decided that building long-term relationships was an essential part of benefiting the students.
Muskie Tigers “We emphasize building relationships because we think that has a huge impact on academic performance. They can open up and ask us real questions. Because of the language barriers the kids who are too scared to participate and ask their teachers questions have an additional outlet to understanding American culture and academics. There is proof mentoring is effective, because the relationship component, because there is that relationship,” club president Stephanie Arias said.
Arias also stressed the unique importance the club places on reaching to help the community in a multi-cultural and interfaith dialogue. “It’s a really good experience. Clearly it’s a cultural and inter- faith exchange. There are a lot of Muslim students, so it’s really cool that it’s an interfaith club. Also we are mentoring refugees so its clearly a social justice club, but ultimately we mentor people our own age,” Arias said.
Given the diverse background of the students, as well as a wide range of academic abilities, Xavier students are given peer leadership roles helping refugee students with skills from reading English to advanced placement programs. All Xavier students are welcome to come help mentor students on a weekly basis. The organization meets from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays at WHS.
For more information contact MuskieTigers@xavier.edu.