Javier Barrera Cervantes

NYC19

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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Challenge

School leaders and educators in Indianapolis struggle to support immigrant families to ensure students are effectively educated, their multilingualism is nurtured and valued, and their academic progress provides access to postsecondary opportunities. Pike & Hutchins (2015) documented that Latino students in Marion County have the lowest college going rates in Marion county. Last year I worked newcomer students from Indianapolis Public School, and I was able to see first hand the challenges faced by those who have recently arrived to the United States mainly as unaccompanied minors. While we did a good job at providing support for these students so they can excel in their language acquisition and core subject areas, I believe we are failing completely at helping them understand the circumstances that led them here and not doing enough to make sure they get to know the neighborhood, community, city, state, they are in.

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