Who We Are
Paper Airplanes is a start-up nonprofit using technology to provide free, virtual, one-on-one language and skills instruction to people affected by conflict. We provide the tools people need to pursue education, secure employment, and ultimately, rebuild their lives. We teach English, Turkish, computer coding for women, and journalism to young adults inside of Syria and displaced across the Middle East and North Africa.
Who We Serve
Over 100,000 college-aged Syrians are not enrolled in university, and hundreds of thousands of Syrian adults, especially women, are unemployed across the Middle East. They can’t access the expensive or distant training programs that would allow them to find education and employment. They are faced with limited resources and rising anti-immigrant and Islamophobic sentiment.
What We Do
Paper Airplanes is working to address these needs for skills acquisition, accessible training, and individualized instruction. We use Skype to match volunteer tutors and trainers with these conflict-affected students in the Middle East. Our programs rely on hundreds of volunteers who provide one-on-one personalized instruction. Learners enrolled in our classes receive individual support as they search for scholarships, apply to universities, write CVs, or enter the job market.After two years of operating as a program on college campuses, Paper Airplanes grew from just 10 pairs of students and tutors to 325 per semester. We’ve served over 1,200 beneficiaries to date, and our work has been featured nationally and internationally.
We started in Minnesota, and we have had incredible support from Minnesotans interested in getting involved. Paper Airplanes was founded by Carleton College alumna Bailey Ulbricht, who started the program in 2014 with ten Carleton volunteer tutors matched with ten Syrians living in Turkey. While the program has grown to include tutors from around the world, Minnesota is still home to dozens of tutors as well as senior staff members including Anna Farrell (Director of Programming, St. Paul), and Muriel Carpenter (COO, originally from Northfield).
Shukran / Thank you for your support!
About Paper Airplanes