UPLIFT – Youth Services

UPLIFT Program

The Ayco UPLIFT program supports youth through various programs while offering culturally specific mentorship, which aims to develop leadership and strength cultural identities amongst our young generations. The purpose of the UPLIFT program is to connect with elementary, middle, high school, and college students. UPLIFT navigators help support students as they adjust to their new environment. They also identify and strive to achieve their educational goals and facilitate integration and economic self-sufficiency.

UPLIFT Youth Education

AYCO is committed to supporting our youth, starting at a young age all the way through post-high school education.

Youth Services Provided

Academic Support: Our Cultural Navigators bridge the gap between youth, schools and parents through a virtual platform ensuring that youth and families have the best possible support as they navigate our complex educational systems.

Leadership Training: Youth participants receive training to become the leaders of their generation and the mentors for generations to come.
Youth Leadership Program Internship Application >

Virtual Tutoring: Our mentors and navigators will encourage student performance and initiatives that will aim to engage the students in their school work and progress. Through a virtual platform, these navigators will be able to check-in and interact with their mentees and students being able to provide necessary resources and tools to best assist students with.

Athletics programs: We facilitate basketball and soccer programs. Our program coordinators and coaches encourage team building, sportsmanship, transferable life skills and of course, FUN. As we move towards a virtual platform and encourage a distanced learning style. We facilitate basketball and soccer programs. Our program coordinators and coaches encourage team building, sportsmanship, transferable life skills and of course, FUN. As we move towards a virtual platform and encourage a distanced learning style.

Mentorship: Coaches are committed to virtual mentoring participants even through a virtual connection, beyond the courts and fields. AYCO also partners with Multnomah and Washington County Juvenile justice departments to match skilled (culturally specific) mentors with youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system and their families.

Field Trips: AYCO recognizes the need to keep kids engaged and learning outside of the classroom. However, due to Covid 19 breakout, we will strive to keep our communities engaged within a smaller number of members gradually progressing as our city opens-up. Our field trips will be aimed to increase extensive knowledge; providing youth with outdoor experiences such as hiking, camping, and studying environmental science/ ecosystems.

Tournaments: AYCO will continue to coordinate basketball and soccer tournaments practicing with a 6 feet distance approach and by providing opportunities for small numbers of immigrant youth to participate.

Environmental Literacy: AYCO’s goal is to create an exciting nexus between youth development and programs that connect students to the natural world. We are in our first year of launching our environment and have partnered with Leach Botanical Garden, Metro Parks and Nature, Zenger Farms, Camp Elso, BluePrint Foundation, and more.

Scholarships: We believe in changing the lives and futures of the immigrant youth that we serve. Through the generous donation of community members, we are able to award limited scholarships with the reality of helping our youth fulfill their dreams of pursuing their college degrees. Apply for Scholarship >

Girls Empowerment Group: This group will help you build self-confidence and help lift the heavy responsibility you carry on your shoulders. It teaches mindfulness to take care of yourself and is an open space where you can feel free to talk about your feelings and get support. Make new friends.

Racial Equity and Social Justice Program (RESJ): The programming each week will cover academic preparedness and engagement, leadership development and team building, self-care, health, and athletics, and environmental education. Summer 2023 Details & Registration >

UPLIFT Youth Disability Support

The Youth Disability Cultural Navigator does weekly one-on-one tutoring/mentoring and resources for students; these CNs provide cultural and student-centered needs-based consultation to school staff and conduct holistic family services. In addition, the Youth Disability Cultural Navigator often accompanies parents to school meetings, explains Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and facilitate communication between schools and families.


"Thank you so much for working with my disability kid, I am thankful I have someone on my side who is willing to share the burden with me.” —Mother

“Najma is my favorite, she lets me watch my favorite movie and get my favorite pizza. I love coming to Ayco, it's a fun place.” —Student

"Ayco always gives me my favorite stuff, like my blue backpack and sneakers, I love coming here.” —Student

"Thank you so much for always entertaining the kids for us, Always doing something with the kids truly appreciated the effects you are putting with our kids. We are forever grateful for Ayco the generosity it shows both of us, the parents and our kids.” —Mother

“I love to come to Ayco and play.” —Student

UPLIFT Youth Immigrant/Refugee Support

Refugee Cultural Navigator connects refugee youth to caring and supportive members of their community for support as they adjust to their new environment, strive to achieve their educational or vocational goals, and ultimately facilitate integration and economic self-sufficiency. Also, provide students with individualized support in the classroom, in small groups, or one-on-one.


Nuradin Abdirahman UPLIFT Department Lead

nuradin@aycoworld.org  |  971.344.7482


Safiya Mohamed UPLIFT Lead

Ahmed Ali

Ahmed Ali UPLIFT Lead


Aisha Awo UPLIFT Lead


Amina Awo Cultural Navigator

Amina M

Amina Mohamed Cultural Navigator - Elementary


Najma Nur Cultural Navigator / Students with Special Needs


Sumaya Mohamed Youth Workforce Development Coordinator

Ifrah Abdi

Ifrah Abdi Cultural Navigator


Keynan Abdi Youth Life Counselor

UPLIFT Funders

Thank you to all of our partners and funders of our UPLIFT Youth Programs.

  • Mentorship (academics) - Oregon Department of Education (ODE)
  • Affinity group (clubs/afterschool) - Oregon Department of Education (ODE)
  • Athletics - Nike
  • Environmental Education - Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWS), Metro Nature and Neighborhood
  • Leadership Development - Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), Capacity Building
  • Field Trip/Out-of-School Programming -  OCF K-12 Summer Learning Grant, OCF Trailblazers
  • Youth disability support - Portland Children’s Levy (PCL)
  • College/career skill development - ODE+
  • Immigrant/refugee youth support - DHS