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DU Cares

 Since 1978, Davenport University has annually selected a community partner to give back through human and monetary resources. In addition, this partnership serves as a great resource for volunteer opportunities and service-learning projects for the Davenport community.

This year's DU Cares Partner is... Refugee Education Center!

Who They Are 

Refugee Education Center (REC) supports refugees in their journey to becoming fully participating members of the West Michigan community. REC envisions a thriving, multicultural West Michigan community where all have an opportunity to pursue a better future! 

REC primarily engages the refugee community, and newly resettled refugees in two ways, including: through partnerships with local refugee resettlement agencies.

REC aids newly resettled refugees prepare for life in the US in terms of...

  • Education - We seek to provide primary and supplemental education programs designed to coincide with traditional education in order that students and children may excel. We also provide cultural education to communities at large so that they may fully support and engage their new American neighbors, students, and/or co-workers.
  • Economic Stability - We seek to help develop economic opportunities and guide refugees in career opportunities, as well as prepare people for engaging with and using financial systems.
  • Housing - We join our voice with the many calling for fair and affordable housing practices. We have developed partnerships with state and private housing agencies and systems to ensure refugees have a safe place to call home.
  • Culture & Language - For many, the United States poses many cultural and linguistically challenging situations that differ from birth countries. We seek to prepare refugees so that they many engage with new cultures while retaining identity.
  • Health - Health systems can be complex to navigate, we seek to break down barriers and build bridges to make necessary healthcare and mental healthcare more accessible.

What They Do

Blandford Nature Center believes children and adults learn best through personal experience. Our job, and our passion, is to invite our community to get their hands dirty in nature – whether that be standing knee-high in water to learn about stream ecology or planting squash seeds to start a garden.

  • Early childhood education that is culturally responsive and multilingual
  • K-12 student support like summer and afterschool programs
  • College and career services
  • Family engagement programs like parent/caregiver school orientation, support, and assistance
  • Community support workers providing direct assistance and referrals for basic needs

Visit Refugee Education Center's website to learn more! (Click here)

Email volunteer.center@davenport.edu to learn more about how you can get involved!