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“For the past eight years, Etiony Aldarondo, PhD, associate dean for research at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami, has worked with the Immigrant Children’s Legal and Service Partnership in Miami-Dade to promote the human rights and well-being of undocumented, unaccompanied children through legal, social, advocacy and mental health services. Aldarondo and his team of psychology graduate students and community partners help train and support staff at shelters that serve immigrant youth. They help shift typical shelter culture to be more communal, child-centered and evidence-based.
As part of this initiative, Aldarondo and his team developed the Immigrant Children Affirmative Network, or ICAN, which aims to help foster resiliency and hope in unaccompanied minors. Two innovative parts of ICAN are the youths’ creation of a “book of life” to help them reclaim different aspects of their
identity and the “Toma el Paso” board game, through which they learn about the legal system and the various obstacles and choices they will encounter as undocumented, unaccompanied children in the United States.”