A Spotlight on Three Talented Young People
and their Excellent Mentors
In the summer of 2018 Educando Con Amor (Teaching with Love), led by Eva María Torres-Herrera, held an immigrant advancement internship program. Three talented and enterprising students, Marie, Amy, and Richard met with our immigrant community to learn more about their life challenges and consider support that might be of value to them. With the help of Sam Kwak, an extraordinary, dedicated volunteer and accomplished computer science professional, the three teen interns developed professional skills in interpersonal communication, writing, project planning, surveys, interviews, data analysis using spreadsheets, and data presentation (pie charts). Their work culminated in a newsletter featuring personally written articles and graphic presentations of their work identifying the most pressing concerns and interests of the local immigrant community. We are very proud of their awesome work and contribution to our community. Some of their work appears here.
The interns learned some interesting information from their interviews. For example over half the people they talked to didn’t understand how getting a DUI could impact their application for U.S. residency or citizenship. While most of the people interviewed stated that they understood the consequences of having a record of domestic abuse, almost ⅓ said they weren’t aware how a domestic abuse record could affect their immigration status and ability to stay in the US. In an emergency a parent could get suddenly separated from their children for an extended amount of time. It’s helpful and important for the children or a guardian to know where important documents are. Over half of the people surveyed didn’t think their children or a guardian would know where to find passports, personal identification, birth certificates, health insurance cards, rental leases and other important documents in an emergency.
Immigrant Advancement Workshops
Based on the survey results EQOLS and Educando Con Amor has developed a series of workshops aimed at immigrant advancement. These workshops, sponsored by the Virginia Coalition of Immigrant Rights (VACIR) in 2018, provide information and a discussion on navigating the steps toward immigrant advancement. Topics included emergency preparedness for the family, U.S. law, rules & consequences, immigrant rights, citizenship paths.