About East African Community Services
East African Community Services (EACS) was founded to improve the wellbeing of East African immigrant and refugee families in King County and celebrate our collective knowledge, traditions, and values. For 12 years, EACS assisted hundreds with citizenship, interpretation, and tutoring. In 2013, we restructured our work to address the opportunity gap plaguing East Africans. Our mission is to inspire East African immigrant and refugee families to achieve cradle to career success. Prioritizing cradle to career supports acknowledges that nurturing youth requires a multi-pronged strategy including prenatal and early learning, parent engagement, and youth development for K-12th graders. We envision a transformed and thriving generation of East African families in King County
Programs and Services
Emergency Program: East African COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund
East African refugee and immigrant communities in South Seattle have been hard-hit by the impacts of COVID-19. EACS quickly mobilized with community members and allies to create a specific fund to help hundreds of low-income families survive the pandemic. To date, we’ve provided rental assistance, food and baby supplies for more than 500 families. Presently, our Fund has been depleted. We are actively connecting with corporate, foundation and government partners for additional economic resources to continue our work.
Early Childhood Programs
EACS offers two culturally-centered Early Childhood programs: first, our TrueStars Preschool Academy and Sheeko, Sheeko, Sheeko Xariir Home Visiting Program for 0-5-year-old East African children and their mothers. Sheeko, Sheeko, Sheeko Xariir translates from Somali as “Story, story, what’s the story?” The program functions to encourage early literacy development, brain development and infant-parent bonds.
Culturally-centered K-12 Youth Education Programs
EACS has developed a solid reputation for the development of innovative, STEM, literacy and East African culture-based Afterschool and Mentorship programs. Annually we serve more than 350 youth. COVID-19 has led to significantly increased demand for our now virtualized youth programs. Consequently, we have reached historic enrollment in our youth programs. As of December 1, 2020, our youth programs have waiting lists of more than 280 youth. Below, find specialized learning and development modules designed to prepare our first-generation youth for positive class mobility and whole-life success:
- MathCode+Robotics: A pre-career software development and robotics programs for East African refugee and immigrant children interested in STEM careers. MathCode+Robotics is made possible by generous support from the Boeing Co.
- Strong Girls Powerful Leaders (SGPL): Girls empowerment program for 5-12th grade, East African Girls.
- We Thrive: Financial Literacy and Investments program for 6-12th grade East African youth.
Introducing Promise Fellowship Program
We have created a new gang intervention and prevention program entitled, The Promise Fellowship program. It is a co-ed strategy designed for 15-24 year old at-risk or formerly incarcerated youth. This year, we launched our inaugural cohort of 16 Fellows. We already developed a waiting list with 15 potential Fellows for future cohorts. A key purpose for the Fellowship program is to help our young people to escape the power of hopelessness and stigma associated with being first-generation Americans from African immigrant contexts. The program also pairs Fellows with Cultural, Academic and Professional (CAP) mentors. Our research and youth engagement suggest that this wraparound approach to youth engagement simultaneously works to connect at-risk with high-performing, ethical and accomplished East Africans who have turned their lives around for the good.