by Félix Pérez
It has been more than 15 years since he was in her classroom, but choral music teacher Jill Denny still lights up when describing Jose.
“I just think Jose is a fantastic role model for our students. He is the ideal kid. He comes in and says, ‘I’m dying to learn things. Let me learn,’ ” reminisced Denny, who teaches at California’s Mountain View High School.
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“It’s my job to take kids where they’re at, make them safe, extend another home for them here and move them forward,” said Denny.
Educators from across the country who believe as Denny does — that students should be made to feel welcome and safe regardless of where they were born — will put their beliefs and advocacy for DREAMer students on full display next month in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.
They will be joined by tens of thousands of students, faith leaders and concerned citizens on April 10. They will seek to seize on and propel the growing national momentum for commonsense immigration reform so that Congress fixes our broken immigration system and the millions of students like Jose are not held back from reaching their full potential and their dreams of becoming teachers, nurses, lawyers and doctors.
Salt Lake City educator Annie Brewer was moved from concern to active advocacy for DREAMer students because of Joaquin, a standout student who was brought to the United States by his parents when he was two.
Joaquin, explained Brewer, was forced to drop out of high school despite excellent grades to help support his family. “I speak for thousands of other bright, hard-working Joaquins who cannot speak for themselves for fear of repercussions to themselves or their struggling families. Working together, we must continue to speak until their voices are heard and valued as contributing members of our society.”
- Sign up to come to the All In for Citizenship March. NEA will be at the staging area to make sure you have everything you need to make your experience as productive and as problem-free as possible.
- Share your story about an inspiring DREAMer student. If your story is selected, you will be flown to Washington to participate in the historic All In for Citizenship March on April 10.