About SAYA

South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) is a community-based organization leading the NYC Community Schools Initiative at Richmond Hill High School. SAYA's mission is to foster a strong sense of belonging in youth and provide them with tools to thrive academically, professionally and personally.

Who can join SAYA?

At Richmond Hill, SAYA services students parents, staff, and community members of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

Are you a student interested in joining SAYA? Visit the SAYA Office in Room 440 to receive an application to join our programs!

What is the NYC Community Schools Initiative?

The NYC Community Schools Initiative partners a school with a community organization to support student achievement through holistic and comprehensive engagement. Through collaboration amongst school staff, youth, families, and communities, a Community School centers the physical, emotional, and social wellness of students and their neighborhood through various programs & services.

SAYA partners with Richmond Hill High School to offer programs and services that center:

  • Expanded Learning Time / Academic Enrichment
  • College and Career Guidance
  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Attendance Interventions & Success Mentorship
  • Health Services
  • Parent & Family Engagement & Programs
  • Community Engagement & Social Services


Expanded Learning Time (ELT) & Academic Enrichment

SAYA supports academic enrichment through in-school & after-school tutoring & Regents Prep, SAT & ACT Prep, leadership classes & activities, college & recreational trips, and after-school clubs.

SAYA Clubs

Currently, SAYA offers over 11 after-school clubs & activities including:

  • A+ Certification; E2C (Education to Career)
  • Robotics
  • Anime Club
  • Arista Club
  • ARISE Youth Leadership
  • Chorus Club
  • Dance Club
  • Horticultural Society
  • Knitting & Crochet Club
  • Red Cross Club
  • Young Women's & Men's Group

SAYA provides in-school tutoring during lunch hours in the Green Room 236. Regents Prep on weekends generally begins 6-weeks before Regents exams. 

Please contact SAYA Office Rm. 440 for more information about our trips.

Mental Health and Wellness

Where can students and families go for Mental Health & Wellness support?

We invite all staff, youth, and families to visit the Wellness Center, in Room. 138. Our partner The Child Center of NY (TCCNY), offers services in therapy and treatment that include two licensed clinicians who are available Monday-Friday.

Additionally, our youth advocates serve as attendance success mentors and run weekly, theme-based groups to address students needs, such as bi-lingual/multi-lingual support, academic preparedness, and more. Have an idea for a group? Let us know!

Attendance & Success Mentorship

In an effort to expand attendance interventions, SAYA works with AmeriCorps, RHHS staff, and CBO partners to pair students with Success Mentors. Mentors work with counselors, teachers and administrators to help students build positive attendance and achieve academic success throughout the year.

What kinds of Parent, Family, & Community Services does SAYA offer at RHHS?

We partner with ActionNYC to provide free, safe, and confidential immigration legal help to students, families, and community members in their language.

We also partner with various housing and employment organizations, adult education programs, and other services to support our community.

Have an idea for a community-based service that we can bring to Richmond Hill? Let us know!

Health Services

Through a community partnership, SAYA offers free vision screenings and glasses for students of all grade levels. In 2015, over 1100 students were screened and over 300+ students received glasses.

For More Information

For More Information:

Visit our SAYA Office! Room 440; ext. 4401

Stop by the Wellness Center! Room 138; ext. 1381; 1382

Contact Dedunu Suraweera, Community School Director: dedunu.suraweera@saya.org, ext. 4401