In the News

Featured in The New York Times UPFRONT Magazine, New American Scholars is Transforming Lives and Bridging Gaps

   New American Scholars


It's no surprise that students across the globe have been adversely affected by the education disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few have taken as bold a step as Riyah Patel, a high school senior, in remedying this imbalance.
Recognizing that the pandemic had significantly widened the achievement gap between refugee students and their American-born peers, Riyah took action.

In a special profile by UPFRONT Magazine, a publication by The New York Times, and designed specifically for high school students, Riyah’s New American Scholars initiative stands as a beacon of hope, empathy, and resilience.

How it Began

At the age of 15, Riyah founded New American Scholars with a mission to level the educational playing field. In her native state of New Hampshire, Patel observed that refugee students faced an increasing struggle to keep up academically and socially due to the tumult of the pandemic.

The Mission

New American Scholars aims to equip refugee students with the resources they need for a successful transition into their school communities. The organization offers a myriad of in-person and virtual academic programs, spanning subjects such as reading, writing, Language Arts, math, and science. But it's not just about academics; the initiative also provides much-needed social support and peer mentorship.

Building Empathy Through Action

The feature in UPFRONT Magazine not only celebrates Riyah’s achievements but also serves as a tool to build empathy among its young readers. It brings to light the stories of children from diverse backgrounds and experiences, echoing UPFRONT's commitment to developing life skills and social-emotional competencies in students.

A Multi-Faceted Approach

The approach of New American Scholars is comprehensive. Academic assistance is paired with social support systems that enable students to take agency over their learning and lives. With the understanding that education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, Riyah’s organization focuses on the individual needs of each student, ensuring that they are provided with the resources to not just survive, but thrive.

Goals for the Future

Riyah’s ambitions don't stop at New Hampshire. She aims to expand New American Scholars to reach every refugee family across the state and, ultimately, the nation.

A Timely Recognition

The profile in UPFRONT Magazine comes at a crucial time when educators and parents are concerned about the content being exposed to young minds. In line with UPFRONT’s mission to provide fact-based and age-appropriate articles, the feature on New American Scholars and Riyah Patel serves as an example of a positive force for change, one that not only inspires but also educates.

By being featured in UPFRONT Magazine, Riyah Patel’s New American Scholars initiative gains deserved recognition, thereby potentially increasing its reach and impact. It's a story that fosters empathy, celebrates positivity, and above all, underscores the importance of taking action. In a world that often seems fraught with challenges, Riyah and her initiative remind us that positive change is not only possible but also achievable through dedication, compassion, and vision.