Refugee Services

Founded in 2018 with generous support from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Instituto's Refugee program ensures that like immigrants, refugees have access to the education and support that they deserve to prepare them to become economically self-sufficient and robustly engaged in American civic life. Instituto advocates for refugee families while providing them with access to robust supportive services, vocational education and training, financial coaching, job placement, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes among other services. 

Refugees overcome many challenges when they come to the US that are extremely similar to the challenges immigrants face. Instituto uses our expertise of bicultural and bilingual lived experience to empower and inspire refugees to continue their education, be successful in careers that align with their expertise and aspirations, and support their families. Refugees have access to the same services that Instituto offers to the community, in addition to specific translation and interpretation services upon request. Refugees may enroll in Instituto's Carreras en Salud, Manufacturing, or Retail Career Pathways programs.
Program participants must be permanent residents who are 18 years old or over with proven refugee or asylee status who have lived in the United States for less than 5 years. Participants will be expected to provide an Illinois state ID or driver's license, their I-94 document, and proof of work authorization in the United States. 
  • Attend vocational training
  • Achieve industry credentials and training certificates
  • Employment coaching and opportunities
  • Access to supportive services
  • Financial assistance to pay for training
  • Referral to non-academic resources in the community
  • Translation and interpretation services are available