culture

People Are Attempting To Discredit A Student’s Recent Perfect Score On A Spanish AP Exam Because He Is Latino

Arturo Ballesteros Facebook | NBC News

For those that believe Latinos automatically do well in Spanish class think again. The Spanish language among Latinos continues to decline. According to Pew Research, 73 percent of Latinos spoke Spanish at home in 2015, which has dropped from 78 percent in 2006. That’s to say, the younger generation of Latinos do not go hand-in-hand with Spanish as it is believed to be, and that’s what makes this story so extraordinary.

A 17-year-old Chicago student got a perfect score on his Spanish AP exam.

Before you think, well, of course, he got a perfect score, he’s Latino. That assumption that young Latinos understand Spanish and write it perfectly is entirely ridiculous. Speaking Español with mom and dad is not the same as writing comprehension in Spanish.

Out of 189,658 students, Arturo Ballesteros from Chicago was one of 100 to get a perfect score.

“I saw I had gotten a perfect score and was like, ‘Oh my God,’” the high school junior told NBC News. “I was blown out of the water.”

Ballesteros was in shock because he didn’t believe he did that well on the test.

“On some of the sections, I felt like I could’ve done better,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.

His teacher, Benita Arguellez at Back of the Yards College Prep and Principal Patricia Brekke, knew Ballesteros had it in him.

“He has an incredible level of humility,” Brekke told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Yes, he’s incredibly smart, we all know that. But he’s a really good person, and that’s what makes him great.”

“Everything comes natural to him. He’s able to elaborate with the richest vocabulary,” Arguellez added.

So what exactly does this Spanish AP test cover? Lots.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the exam includes 65 multiple choice questions, a written persuasive essay that must outline “the value of digital library resources over physical texts,” a business email response, “an impromptu two-minute presentation comparing the cultural norms around keeping pets in Mexico and the United States, and discuss the merits of a career in law with a hypothetical acquaintance. All in conversational, college-level Spanish.” Holy cow.

Ballesteros credits embracing his Latino culture and the Spanish language for his perfect score, and of course, his parents.

“Spanish is a really great language. It’s the second most spoken language in the world,” Ballesteros told NBC News. “So I would say to students and young people who come from Spanish-speaking families to embrace that and learn from a young age, because it will be useful in your professional and academic life.”

He added that it is because of his parents that he will hopefully attend the University of Chicago when he graduates.

“I told my parents because I owe my accomplishments to them, but I don’t like to randomly talk about myself like that or come off as arrogant.”

We love that humility! Congrats, Arturo!

READ: Texas Official Under Fire For Telling Latina County Judge To “Speak English”

A Texas Family Is Sponsoring An Indigenous Boy From Guatemala After He Was Separated From His Father

Culture

A Texas Family Is Sponsoring An Indigenous Boy From Guatemala After He Was Separated From His Father

The U.S. government has been very vocal about their reports that thousands of undocumented children are crossing the border. There are so many children, in fact, that the government is setting up new tent cities to accommodate them all. They also claim that the majority are entering unaccompanied or being ushered in by human traffickers. So, you would think that the government would help facilitate a proper home for these children, especially when a sweet family is extending their hand to an undocumented child.

At least one family in Texas experienced significant pushback from the government when they were initially denied sponsorship of an 8-year-old boy.

Facebook/Holly Sewell

Holly and Matthew Sewell, and their family sought to act as a sponsor for Byron Xol after they heard that the child was separated from his father when the two crossed the border to seek asylum. Xol’s father was denied asylum and was forced to return to Guatemala. Without any family or contacts in the U.S., the child wouldn’t be able to leave the detention center.

The government has a policy in which immediate family members can only sponsor undocumented children, and that has come under scrutiny.

Last year, media reports indicated that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was targeting sponsors of undocumented children and detaining the sponsors for being undocumented themselves.

This received significant backlash because government agencies need sponsors to help shelter these children, but because ICE is using it as a means to detain, fewer people are coming forward to sponsor these children. With fewer people sponsoring, more children remain in the overcrowded shelters. That is what makes the Sewell family so remarkable.

Since the Sewell’s are not related to the child, they were denied, but they continued to fight for him and were also in contact with his dad. In the end they were victorious.

Facebook/Holly Sewell

The Sewell’s, who have two small children already, contacted the child’s dad via Skype and remained in contact with him about their case. In an interview with NBC News, they said the boy, who speaks the indigenous language of K’iche has been learning Spanish, as the family is too in order to communicate with him better. They are beyond thrilled that he will be coming home with them.

“We are privileged enough. We can do this,” Holly said to NBC News and added that she learned “[if] you see somebody who needs help, you help them. If you have that capability, use that capability to help them.”

READ: Trump Administration Plans To Build More Tent Cities To Hold Migrants Indefinitely

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