“I love this program for mentoring refugee kids. With their parents often working long hours, the children don’t usually have the opportunity to pursue extracurricular activities. Mostly, I’ve been someone [my mentee] can talk to.”
— Shantell Bingham (Col '15), former Head Program Director for Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap volunteers are devoted to befriending and mentoring refugee children from Burma, Congo, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, Russia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand and Togo who have resettled in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.  BTG volunteers seek to inspire and help refugee youth, typically ranging from 5 to 15 years of age, develop the tools necessary to obtain greater opportunities in U.S. society.


What will volunteers do?

Each Bridging the Gap volunteer, along with a co-mentor volunteer, is paired with a refugee child and spends time with her or him at UVA and around Charlottesville, engaging in activities ranging from playing sports and games, helping with homework, visiting museums, and much more!



BTG is a year-long commitment. Volunteers are expected to spend two hours per week with their mentee. Mentors coordinate with their mentees to select times and places that best fit their schedules.


How can I get involved?

Registration opens each semester at 9am on the first day of classes.


Our Community Partners

  • Charlottesville City Schools

  • Charlottesville City Schools Adult Learning Center