Do you believe that our country draws strength from our diversity and by welcoming people from all over the world? Do you believe every child, no matter their background, deserves a fair chance to learn, to grow, and to become fully contributing members of our society?
Immigrant communities, no matter their immigration status or legal documentation, are being victimized and scapegoated right now. Despite tremendous skills and passion, too many immigrant youth face obstacles that make them less likely to graduate from high school, go to college, or to find meaningful work. They are more likely to be victims of violent crime, domestic violence, or human trafficking.
We believe these children and their families are ALL New Yorkers, no matter their immigration status. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends, family members, and more.
Atlas: DIY helps unlock immigrant youth’s access to free legal services, educational opportunities, and leadership development in a space governed by young people themselves.
Our model is different: Atlas DIY was founded on the core belief that young people can be catalysts for change right now.
Every one of our members, not only receives access to free legal services, but also becomes informed and encouraged to become community advocates for change. We have over 700 youth members (and growing) ages 14-24 , we have reached over 12,000 community members of all ages through legal outreach and community education, and thousands more through free online videos.
Our model is changing lives: More than 125 youth visit our center every month as a safe second home and to take advantage of free food, clothes, individual and group counseling, peer support groups, art projects, field trips and much more. We have closed over 250 immigration cases, 100% of our College Access summer campers have been accepted to college, winning hundreds of thousands of scholarship dollars in the process.
Most importantly, Atlas youth leaders are working to fight fear and misinformation. They train their classmates and friends, school teachers and staff, parents and families, adult professionals of all ages about immigration rights, issues, and opportunities.