In the News

Riyah Patel Invited to New Hampshire Women’s Foundation Legislative Lunch

   New American Scholars


Riyah Patel, the founder and President of New American Scholars, was invited by the New Hampshire Women's Foundation to attend their annual Legislative Lunch held in Concord. This critical event occurs across the street from the State House and serves as a nexus connecting elected officials with the Women’s Foundation’s grantees.

Approximately 50 state representatives and state senators paused their committee meetings to learn more about organizations championed by the Women’s Foundation, including New American Scholars.

A Prime Spotlight for New American Scholars

The Legislative Lunch was more than just an event; it was a spotlight that allowed Riyah to share the transformative work of New American Scholars. This platform offered her the opportunity to directly address key decision-makers in the state, illustrating the unique challenges and obstacles faced by refugee students in New Hampshire.

Riyah presented the evidence-based strategies that New American Scholars employs, such as tailored academic programs in reading, writing, Language Arts, math, and science, as well as social support structures and peer mentorship initiatives. She also shared personal stories of students who have benefited from these resources, turning statistics into tangible narratives that showcased the organization's impact.

Legislators Show Interest and Consider Action

The reception from legislators was not only warm but also actionable. Many expressed a keen interest in understanding the academic and social hurdles faced by refugee children. Their questions went beyond mere curiosity, delving into how state policies could be adapted or created to better serve this vulnerable community.

Riyah’s presentation ignited discussions among legislators about possible collaborations, policy adjustments, and new legislative initiatives that could provide additional resources and support to refugee students. Some legislators expressed interest in visiting New American Scholars' programs in action, while others inquired about immediate steps they could take to assist the organization's mission.

About New American Scholars

Founded by Riyah at the age of 15 in response to the educational disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, New American Scholars has a targeted focus on closing the educational achievement gap between refugee students and their American-born peers in New Hampshire. The organization offers a comprehensive array of in-person and virtual academic programs in subjects like reading, writing, Language Arts, math, and science. Through academic assistance, social support, and peer mentorship, New American Scholars is dedicated to empowering refugee students to take agency of their learning and their lives, ensuring their successful transition into school communities across the state.

About New Hampshire Women’s Foundation

The New Hampshire Women's Foundation focuses on legislative advocacy, research, education, and grantmaking. Their annual Legislative Lunch serves as a crucial interface between elected officials and grantees, facilitating dialogue and collaboration to address the state's most pressing issues.