PAIR volunteers…
  • Positively impact the lives of Houston’s refugee youth
  • Befriend youth from cultures from all around the world
  • Develop leadership, communication, and mentorship
  • Connect with the greater Houston community
  • Get to know and bond with fellow Rice volunteers
  • Take ownership of their experience through curriculum development

Mission: PAIR empowers refugee youth to navigate American society, reach their academic potential, and become community leaders through educational and mentoring programs. At the same time, PAIR provides its volunteers with opportunities that increase their leadership and communication skills and their ability to work with diverse cultures.

Founding: Rice University students founded PAIR in 2006. The founders graduated from Rice between 2006 and 2008 and formed a nonprofit organization in April 2007 to continue to support and guide the student organization, “Rice PAIR,” and develop chapters at other university campuses to serve a larger number of young refugees in need in Houston. A majority of the founders still serve on PAIR’s Board of Directors.

Development: Program sessions for refugee youth have already expanded to 8 per week and PAIR now serves between 200 and 300 refugee youth annually with an equal number of volunteers. PAIR maintains an off-campus office where full-time employees develop relationships with resettlement agencies, local schools, and other organizations to expand program opportunities, ensure program quality, and preserve program stability for the refugee youth involved.

Currently: Rice PAIR student officers lead 8 weekly program sessions. Nearly 22 Rice student officers and over 100 Rice student volunteers work with PAIR each week throughout the semester.

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