On July 4th, the girls of Rinconcito del Sol ( “a little corner of sunshine”), a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant girls located in Palm Beach, Florida, woke up to an unexpected surprise. Four Girl Scouts from Troop 24538–Kaylin Bowe, Lindsey Silverstone, Sophie Silverstone and Hannah Silverstone—had an idea. Why not welcome the girls to their community with a time-tested, Girl Scout approved treat—cupcakes!
Troop leader Melissa Bowe contacted the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants with their request to deliver cupcakes to the girls on July 4th, a holiday celebrated by Americans everywhere that commemorates our declaration of independence from the persecution and tyranny of colonial rule. This document, aspirational at the time, set the tone for who we wanted to be as a nation.
It took four Girl Scouts—Kaylin, Lindsey, Sophie and Hannah—and some cupcakes to remind us that America can be a welcome refuge for people in pursuit of their inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The courageous girls at Rinconcito del Sol have done simply that—undertook a perilous journey to escape a life of violence, poverty and disempowerment in pursuit of a future where they can reach their full human potential.
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), a non-profit organization serving the needs and advocating on behalf of refugee and immigrant communities for over 100 years, believes that the children and young people who have arrived in the United States unaccompanied by their parents and without immigration status need a temporary place to call home.
Rinconcito del Sol (a little corner of sunshine) provides care for unaccompanied minor girls between the ages of 13-17 until we can find their parents and reunite them.
While the girls are with us, we ensure their basic needs are met, including nutritious meals, classroom education, and semi-private bedrooms. We also provide medical care and mental health services to address the physical effects and trauma they may have experienced on their journey to the United States. The girls participate in recreational activities, clubs, and exercise programs. They also have access to legal services to assist with their immigration cases.
This is not a detention center. This is a place that we hope makes the girls stronger and more prepared for the journey that lies ahead for them.
Rinconcito del Sol, staffed by a team of experienced professionals who can give the girls the specialized care they need, is not their final destination. USCRI works with attorneys and social service providers to reunite the girls with their families.
USCRI would like to thank the Girl Scouts of Palm Beach for living up to the Girl Scout Law by making the world a better place.
If you would like to help USCRI live up to our American values as a nation that welcomes and recognizes the significant contributions refugees and immigrants make to our communities, you can donate here.
For questions from the media, please contact Annette Sheckler, 703-310-3401 (o), 703-463-7657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For frequently asked questions about unaccompanied children, please visit the website of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement.