Promoting College Social Capital and STEM Identity among Refugee Families: A Community-University Partnership

Mr. Déo Baransaka

Learn about an NSF-funded collaborative of the Burundi-America Association for Humanity and Opportunities (BAAHO) and ASU supporting parents and youth learning and doing together. In our core activity, BAAHO leaders facilitate sessions about preparing for and navigating college plus ASU faculty and staff present STEM Career Activities and special topics (e.g., financial aid). Other activities are STEM-focused college field trips, e-mentoring with young adult Burundians, and digital storytelling workshops. Students experienced significant change in expectations about STEM careers (e.g., belief the work will be enjoyable), college social capital (e.g., comfort talking with family about college), and STEM capital. Parents experienced significant gain in STEM identity (e.g., view of family as “math/science people”) and college social capital. From interview data, presenters also share how families understand roles of gender, race, and ethnic background in shaping STEM aspirations. 

Déo Baransaka is a U.S. citizen born in Burundi and is a Family Services Advocate for Glendale Elementary School District and Chair of the Burundi-America Association for Humanity and Opportunities (BAAHO). His priority is to educate refugee families to overcome challenging episodes through their journey towards sustainable self-sufficiency. Déo speaks 5 languages, is a father of 4, and he and wife, Jeanne, are foster parents to refugee orphans in need of a protective roof they can call Home.

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