Integration and Education

Refugees and immigrants of all backgrounds can benefit from the free education and integration services we offer. It’s hard to learn new systems, customs, processes, and languages. But with support from Catholic Charities Milwaukee, you can better understand American culture, prepare for citizenship, learn English, and more.

Background Image: Handwoven Shawl, Benin

Integration Services Overview

Program Description

Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigrant Services works with refugee and immigrant communities, and other partners, to design programs that leverage community strengths to better integrate refugees and immigrants into communities across southeastern Wisconsin.

Integration is an ongoing process in which refugees, immigrants, and Americans grow together to develop strong economic, social, cultural, and civic connections, resulting in more secure, vibrant, and cohesive communities. To foster integration, our programs help participants develop language skills and cultural knowledge, promote social bridges and bonds, and encourage U.S. citizenship. By offering a range of learner-centered trainings, participants build real-life knowledge, cultural awareness, and skills they want to help them succeed. Classes are taught by trained volunteers and staff in English or with interpretation, and hosted at client-accessible locations.

Eligibility

All of our programs are open to anyone who came here as a refugee or immigrant and any of their children born in the United States. All classes are offered free of charge to participants. 

Current Offerings

Be-Frienders

Dates and Times Vary

Community members visit refugees in their homes once a week for 1-2 hours to offer peer-to-peer support. Participants develop English skills, explore their communities, and discuss solutions to challenges. This program strongly encourages strengthening families and building positive relationships among participants.

Citizenship

Date and Times Vary

One-on-one and small group classes help prepare participants to pass their naturalization USIS interviews, with emphasis on the 100 civics questions and talking about the N-400.

Living in the U.S. for Women

Contact us to Schedule

This educational series is for refugee and immigrant women to share the challenges of living in a new country, and learn strategies for success, particularly regarding parenting and self-care. This training can be between 1-4 sessions, with subject matter tailored to your group’s needs. Interpretation is available upon request.

English Learners Parents Education Series

In partnership with MPS Zablocki School, this educational series is for refugee and immigrant parents who are looking for further guidance about daily life in Milwaukee. Topics include: immigration, the American education system, health care, and finances.

Refugee Advisory Board

By Invitation Only

This group connects leaders from diverse refugee communities in Milwaukee to encourage cooperation and facilitate leadership from within communities. At RCAB’s request, Catholic Charities provides support for community-led initiatives. RCAB provides Catholic Charities with recommendations for program development.

Registration

To register for one of our programs, contact Claire Reuning. She speaks English, Spanish, and French.

Phone: (414) 771-2881

Email: creuning@ccmke.org

Frequently Asked Questions

Integration and Education FAQ

Potential participants or their family and friends can call Claire Reuning at 414.771.2881. She can speak with you in English, Spanish, or French.

Contact Claire Reuning at 414.771.2881 to see if we can create something to meet your needs. She can speak with you in English, Spanish, or French.

All classes are free.

Classes are held at Catholic Charities offices, at community locations like libraries, and in participants’ homes.

Some programs have a minimal English requirement, but others do not. Call Claire Reuning at 414.771.2881. She can speak with you in English, Spanish, or French.

Some classes can be offered in your language if we have enough participants. For more information, contact Claire Reuning at 414.771.2881. She can speak with you in English, Spanish, or French.

If there are required materials for your program, Catholic Charities will provide them.

It depends on where the meeting is held and the type of class you are attending. Contact Claire Reuning at 414-771-2881 ahead of time so that childcare can be arranged, if possible.

Of course! Sometimes we need to learn things multiple times before it sticks.

Great! Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities. You will be redirected to the Catholic Charities Milwaukee page at betterimpact.com 

Additional Resources

Becoming a U.S. citizen gives you many advantages over being a lawful permanent resident. In addition to a long list of personal requirements, you must fill out a form and pay a fee. Ultimately, your best chance at success will be through the help of an honest and experienced immigration attorney.

Refugees coming to the United States must make several adjustments, and often have questions about green cards, citizenship, and work permits.

These three immigration mistakes could seriously hurt your chances of getting a green card, or lawfully immigrating to the United States.