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Refugee & Immigrant Transitions RIT

Refugee & Immigrant Transitions (RIT), formerly Refugee Transitions, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit operating in the San Francisco Bay Area. RIT provides free education, family engagement, and community leadership programs. Our students have sought refuge due to war, violence, persecution, or economic duress. Our agency was founded in 1982 as the Refugee Women’s Program. Our mission is to welcome and partner with people who have sought refuge, employing strengths-based educational approaches and community supports so they may thrive in our shared communities. 

What services or resources are offered to students through RIT?

We provide after-school community building and literacy support for NEST students on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5pm and daytime classroom support for NEST teachers all day with the help of RIT staff and volunteers. We also run Youth Leadership programs for students interested in supporting their fellow NEST students during after-school, as well as workshops and support groups for those NEST students who need support navigating life in their new community in Oakland. 

How you can reach us 

Email Kajal Shahali or Email Amanda Geldert

Who are we?


Kajal Shahali

Kajal is the Youth Programs Manager at Refugee & Immigrant Transitions (RIT), a community based organization serving newly arrived refugee and immigrant families in Oakland, California and the bay area, overseeing RIT's after-school and youth tutoring/ mentoring programs, as well as newcomer youth support services including school enrollment support, youth support groups and leadership program s. Kajal received her B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies with a minor in Public Policy from UC Berkeley, and holds a Master’s Degree in International Child Studies with a focus on Refugee Children's Right to Education from King's College, London.


Amanda Geldert

Amanda Geldert joined Refugee & Immigrant Transitions in June 2017 as a college intern and is back full time as of June 2018. She was born in San Jose, California and speaks Spanish and English. As an intern she spent six months immersed in all things RIT across the 3 offices. She later returned to University of California, Santa Cruz to complete her B.A in Community Studies & Spanish Studies (linguistics concentration). Amanda’s drive stems from her mother’s spirit. Her mother immigrated from Mexico when she was 16 and settled in the Bay Area. Amanda grew up with privilege of a bilingual and multi cultural household as well as the privilege to attend a Spanish language bilingual school. You’ll find her working with our littlest RIT youth members to our older High School youth.

Narcisa Carrillo Calmo

Narcy Carrillo Calmo is an Alumni Tutor with Refugee & Immigrant Transitions (RIT). During the day, Narcy provies in classroom support for NEST teachers and students and on Tuesdays and Thursdays she supports RIT’s after-school program for NEST. Narcy is trilingual in  Mam, Spanish and English. She was born in Todos Santos Cuchumatan HueHuetenango and came to the United States in 2016. Narcy is a proud graduate of Fremont High School and an alumni RIT Youth Leader and is happy to be back on campus to support newly arrived students academically, socially and emotionally.  Narcy is also a student at Merritt College and she hopes to transfer to UC Berkeley to pursue her career as a Nurse. In her spare time, Narcy likes to go to the gym and watch the news!

Fatima Calderon

Fatima Calderon is an Alumni Tutor with Refugee & Immigrant Transitions (RIT). She provides support for NEST students in RIT’s after-school program. Fatima is a proud graduate of Fremont High School and an alumni RIT Youth Leader and is happy to be back on campus to support newly arrived students academically, socially and emotionally. She was born in El Salvador, and came to the United States when she was 15 years old. Fatima is bilingual in Spanish and English. She also works at Oakland Public Library. In her spare time, Fatima likes to spend time with family and be in nature!