Youth Support

SHIM Youth Programs support children, providing enrichment that empowers them to thrive

Early Childhood Program

SHIM’s Early Childhood Program provides the necessary supportive and educational services – both to children and their parents – to help vulnerable refugee/immigrant children succeed in school and in life. The goal is for children to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed academically, socially, and developmentally with minimal need for school-based services. ECP classroom activities are flexible and child-centered, recognizing that the children SHIM serves will come to the program at very different stages of development, with different skills, abilities, and challenges.

  • 30 students each year attend Early Childhood Program
  • 90% of four year old students enter kindergarten without needing language services

After School Program

In SHIM’s After School program, the primary goals are to successfully complete homework, aid in academic enrichment, and encourage socialization with others, including those from other countries. An added goal for this program is to keep children and youth engaged in school as they recover from the academic struggles experienced during the pandemic. SHIM aims to reduce learning losses by providing attentive supervision and ongoing encouragement to students.

  • 75 children attend SHIM’s After School Program
  • SHIM’s After School and Youth Mentoring Programs were the 2018 beneficiary of the APOST Quality Award

Youth Mentoring Program

SHIM’s Youth Mentoring program fosters the academic and emotional development of middle and high school refugee/immigrant students, providing vital resources for them to graduate from high school and achieve post-high school success in college, trade school, or the workplace. For the older children in Youth Mentoring, the goal is to support the students through adolescence and provide them with experiences that will prepare them to be the next generation of community leaders.

  • 120 students participate in Youth Mentoring
  • 100% of Youth Mentoring seniors graduate high school
  • SHIM’s Youth Mentoring Program was one of two organizations to be awarded the 2019 Excellence in Mentoring Award from The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA

SHIM also provides an eight week summer camp each year to over 100 kids, providing continued support to children when they are out of school.

summer camp kids 2022
Summer camp 2022 boy
Summer camp girls 2022

The goal of SHIM’s youth programs is to enable each child to reach their full potential and succeed in school and in life.


Volunteering is a great way to help your neighbors. Generous volunteers nurture preschool children, aid after school students with their homework, and encourage youth mentoring teens fill out college applications. Learn how you can make a difference here.


SHIM is grateful for the community members who donate food, clothing, and financial contributions to keep programs running. Find out about the different ways you can help your neighbors by clicking here.


SHIM is an Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) approved organization. This means that businesses can give children the opportunity to attend high-quality pre-k while earning a tax credit. Find out more here.

Learn more about the impact of SHIM programs in our 2023 Impact Report.

Learn more about Youth Mentoring teens and their experiences growing up in America as part of refugee and immigrant families.

You can also hear from youth program staff about the goals of the programs, and how SHIM is unique in serving youth in the South Hills.