Immigrant youth face a myriad of complex and interrelated challenges during their settlement and integration into Canadian society. In Canada, there are a number settlement services available to support this process. In the past, these services have focused on adults; however, they are increasingly responding to the needs of youth. Youth integration programs, in particular, represent one of the most common settlement services available to immigrant youth, yet little research has been conducted on such programs and even less from the perspective of the participants. This qualitative study explores the role of youth integration programs in the lives of twelve young newcomers through in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus groups. My findings reveal that such programs represent a powerful resource for newcomers, with participants describing these programs as spaces where they can develop meaningful relationships, strengthening their communication skills, and improve their overall sense of self. This research confirms, challenges, and extends earlier research on this topic, while also demonstrating the importance of engaging with the subjective experiences of newcomers.
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Thesis advisor: Chan, Wendy
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