Making a Connection (MAC) is a specialized program for youth and young adults in our community. Using a tailored curriculum, the MAC Program provides participants the skills and services necessary for acclimating to life in America and accomplishing their educational and career oriented goals. The purpose of the MAC program is to match refugee youth with positive adult mentors, programs, and services that promote positive civic and social engagement and support individual educational and vocational advancement.

Program Highlights

  • Shape Created with Sketch. Available to youth 15-24 years old who have been in the U.S. 5 years or less (see FAQ for more information)
  • Shape Created with Sketch. Participants create an Individualized Connection Plan outlining short-term and long-term education, career, and social goals.
  • Shape Created with Sketch. Individualized Mentorship with community members in a field of interest
  • Shape Created with Sketch. Activities to assist with Community Integration, Academic Support, Career Development, and Health and Financial Literacy.

Key Contact Information


    • Youth 15-24 years old
    • Have been in the United States for no more than 60 months (5 years)
    • New York Residents
    • With one of the following immigration statuses: 
      • A refugee
      • An asylee
      • A Cuban or Haitian Entrant
      • An alien admitted as an Amerasian immigrant
      • A parolee
      • A certified trafficking victim and their derivatives
      • Iraqis and Afghans granted Special Immigrant Status (SIV's)
      • A Lawful Permanent Resident who previously held one of the above statuses  


  • To enroll as a participant, please contact the Making a Connection Program Manager, Zaid Erzaij, to schedule a meeting. Meetings can be scheduled by phone at (315)738-1083 ext. 136 or by email at zaid@thecenterutica.org.

  • Fill out a mentorship application on the "Join Our Team - Volunteer" page. 

  • No, participation in the program is free for anyone who qualifies.

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