Entertainment

These Lucky Graduates Are Putting Their Culture Front And Center With Their Grad Looks

Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States and are less than half as likely to get a college degree than non-Latino white adults. The gap is even wider between immigrant Latinos and U.S.-born Latinos.

We’re celebrating the Latinos that are walking across stages this graduation season and using their platform to spread a message against xenophobia, an expression of gratitude for their family or straight up Latino pride.

Every moment captured in this post was more than just four years of work.

@JenJimenez63 / Instagram

It spans generations. Growing up Latino, we all know how important education is to our parents. They would and have sacrificed everything just so we could get an education. It opens doors.

These moments open exclusive doors for a real opportunity to live a good life.

@mindofmolina / Instagram

“Esta es pa’ mi genteeee!!! Honduras ????????????4 good years at TCU, let’s go get this moneeeey now #FirstGen #TCU #2019#GradSzn”

But there’s no going forward without pride in your roots.

@mr_isai / Instagram

“Sí Se Pudo! Dedicated to my #immigrant #graduate #immigrad (s). You/We deserve to succeed, when given the opportunity, we shine. #cipotes  #SalviPride”

So we acknowledge the obstacles (queer, brown, first generation) and take pride in them.

@thecesarcamacho / Instagram

“There will never be a wall high enough to keep Latinos from slaying! The challenges we go through as minorities only make us stronger and make us appreciate the hard work our ancestors had to go through. We not only walk down the stage for ourselves but most importantly for our families and those who’ve paved the way for us to have a voice. I don’t know how I’ll ever thank my parents enough for the sacrifices they’ve had to go through as Mexican immigrants in this country, but what I do know is that I’ll make sure to bring other Latinos on this path to continue giving corporate America some flavor (porque ya sabemos muy bien que le falta sazón!!!)! Can’t wait to walk again on Saturday and receive my Masters as a proud, first generation, queer, resilient LATINO ????????‍????????????????????????????”

No matter how much half of Americans want to use who we are as roadblocks, nos vamos pa’lante.

@ashleyy_gonzalezzz / Instagram

Undocugraduates are overcoming statistics like nearly nobody else in America. Keep on dreaming, Dreamers. You make everything seem possible.

Let the migrating butterflies symbolize a forever path forward.

@ChrisFariasTV / Instagram

“FIRST GENERATION UNDOCUGRAD. When I was told by a teacher that my education would stop after graduating high school, I decided to prove him wrong. I am a PROUD Mexican from Uruapan Michoacán y esto es para toda mi gente. Nos graduamos!! #Dreamer #UndocuGrad”

Some graduates are going from high school to their freshman year of college.

@dirtyvysionari / Instagram

“I am an undocumented immigrant raised in the Bay. I am an American at heart with a Mexican lineage. I am a recently admitted UC Berkeley Student for Spring of 2017. I am a mentor to the youth and the homeless. I am a child of God. And I am a graduate from Skyline College. I am no rapist no criminal no killer. Only a dreamer. To my fellow dreamers, don’t let others disparage your value because of your origins. These ethnocentric views will never prevail because they lack humanity. Remember, the shadows will never consume you because light will always be within you.”

This college grad wants to let freshman know to hold onto a sense of humor.

@augie409 / Instagram

“‘No pos… ‘ta cabron!’ is loosely translated to ‘Well shit… that’s tough!’, and has become a popular meme in Latino culture…Nearly everything that could’ve gone wrong during my time in Graduate School went wrong ???? My parents taught me to always work hard and to trust God no matter how high the odds were stacked against us. They advised me to always find peace in the midst of chaos and still have a sense of humor whenever things do not go as planned. Pops taught me to always walk with my head high and respond accordingly to unfortunate events, and to not react negatively and sulk in misery. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my friends and family that have helped me, supported me, and inspired me along the way. I appreciate ya! In the last two weeks, I had essays/projects/presentations to finish as a graduate student and a softball team I was still caring for as an Athletic Trainer. I was running through things in an attempt of completing everything, and I was doing quite well. In a span of two days I was in two car accidents roughly two weeks before graduation; one at work & one on the way home from my Capstone presentation. The deployment of the airbag was honestly a huge slap in the face and wake up call for me, literally. ????It opened my eyes to be thankful that I walked away with only a broken finger, and it taught me to slow down a bit so I could enjoy my accomplishments surrounded by those I love. I called my Pops & all he said was, “No pos… ‘ta cabron! Gracias a Dios que estás vivo.”/“Well shit… that’s tough! Thank God you’re alive.” Yo sobresali con los consejos de mi padre y los rezos de mi madre./I excelled with my father’s advice & mother’s prayers.”

Felicidades to all the graduates!

@jorge.am / Instagram

“This past weekend I had the privilege of graduating from THE Florida State University. Never did I imagine I would be the first in my family to graduate from a public university, debt free. Although, I couldn’t have done it alone, thank you to all my family, friends and mentors throughout this crazy journey… I’ll always be grateful and indebted to CARE and FSU for this amazing opportunity.”

READ: 22 #Immigrad Graduation Caps That No Dummy Can Ignore

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Stephen And Ayesha Curry Are Donating Thousands of Books To Schools For Christmas

Entertainment

Stephen And Ayesha Curry Are Donating Thousands of Books To Schools For Christmas

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Hark the herald! Stephen and Ayesha Claus Curry– are here to bring literary joy this season.

The Golden State Warrior and his wife are donating thousands of books to schools around Oakland, California this holiday season in an effort to bring joy to children.

The couple, behind Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, made the announcement earlier this week.

“We along with our entire team at Eat. Learn. Play. understand the importance of early childhood education, especially when it comes to literacy,” Stephen and Ayesha told People magazine in a recent interview. “Nothing is more basic, more essential, more foundational, or more important to a child’s success in life than the ability to read well. We know there is a lot of work to be done, but with partners like Literati, we’re hopeful that we will be able to make an impact on these children’s lives.”

The Currys’ donations will arrive to schools in boxes that will contain six books.

The packages will include five children’s books and one for adults. All of which come from Stephen Curry’s “Underrated” book club selection.

Along with their thousand book giveaway, the couple’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation will donate boxes to students who are learning remotely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in collaboration with and Literati. Fourteen thousand boxes will go directly to Oakland Unified Schools.

According to people, “The remainder of the donation, which was also made possible through Bay Area investor Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, will be distributed through community partners in the new year.”

Speaking about their own experiences of teaching their children during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Stephen and Ayesha (who are parents to Canon W. Jack, 2, Ryan Carson, 5, and Riley, 8) told People that they’ve been hard work attempting to keep their children busy and learning.

“My oldest is pretty disciplined so that’s been easy, but our 5-year-old has a little trouble staying engaged for an extended period of time,” Ayesha, host of ABC’s new show “Family Food Fight,” explained.

Ayesha says she has found that taking part in “some kind of physical activity right before class starts” helps her daughter Ryan “to focus the mind and get some of the wiggles out, and periodic ‘dance breaks’ between lessons.”

“We also added resistance workout bands to the legs of her chair, which give her something to do if she gets antsy during a long Zoom session,” Stephen added.

“Luckily for me, Stephen has really stepped in with education and their schooling. And I’m okay with that because I birthed them so now [he] can birth and nurture their education,” Ayesha joked in a recent episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

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This Pop-Up School For Migrant Kids Along The Border Went Virtual Thanks To Covid-19 But It’s Thriving More Than Ever

Things That Matter

This Pop-Up School For Migrant Kids Along The Border Went Virtual Thanks To Covid-19 But It’s Thriving More Than Ever

John Moore / Getty Images

The people traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to reach the U.S.-Mexico border aren’t living in some ‘migrant vaccuum’ where nothing else matters. They still have lives to live and experiences to have and, particularly for the young ones, an education to continue.

That was the thinking behind one sidewalk school that popped up in one of the many migrant camps along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was becoming filled with children from across Latin America who were forced to wait out their asylum process from within the border camps, thanks to Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. But their need for an education didn’t just go away.

One woman – with no formal teacher training – decided to help and launched what was called a ‘sidewalk school’ for kids in the camp. But it’s been incredible successful and has blossomed into an online academy for kids throughout the border region.

Despite Covid-19, this pop-up school for migrant kids along the border is thriving.

Just as the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted schools around the world, it’s also having an impact on a pop-up sidewalk school for asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The school, which launched to help fill the educational needs of a growing group of kids stuck at the border, had to go to virtual learning because of the pandemic. But instead of seeing that as a challenge, the school instead has blossomed.

What started out with one teacher at one camp on a sidewalk, how now blossomed by hiring 20 teachers – all asylum seekers themselves – to give classes via Zoom to children across the border region.

To be able to switch to distance learning, the teachers and students were outfitted with more than 200 Amazon tablets by The Sidewalk School for Children Asylum Seekers. The organization was founded by Felicia Rangel-Samponaro, who lives across the border in Brownsville, Texas, and has been crossing to help the asylum seekers by providing them food and books.

It started in just one migrant camp with one teacher but it’s blossomed ever since.

A program like the sidewalk school was severely needed as hundreds and thousands of kids starting being forced to wait at the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s well-known that the border region is one of the most dangerous and violent parts of Mexico and that only underscores the need for quality activities.

Many point out that parents aren’t sending their kids to Mexican schools because they’re afraid to be apart from them. Crime is common here, and kidnappings have been reported. Other parents say registering for school in Mexico is difficult. But program leaders want the kids to be able to continue their education, and they say that many of the asylum-seekers have skill sets they can put to use at the school.

Parents are grateful, too, with one woman telling NPR that she knows “her children will be safe at the sidewalk school, and it gives her time to meet with an immigration lawyer. Volunteer attorneys have been coming over on the weekends to give free legal advice. The asylum-seekers could wait for months to be able to make their asylum case in the U.S.”

Teachers try to give the students some sense of normalcy amid the often dire circumstances at the border.

Credit: John Moore / Getty Images

Many students start their day with an arts and crafts class. Kids are asked to draw on paper plates then outline them with flue and drop glitter. Then they get to hang their creations from trees.

One impromptu teacher, who told NPR he preferred to remain anonymous, said that he wants the kids to “see other people appreciate the artwork they did and let them know how important they are, too, even to people, like, just walking past and driving by. It’s beautiful work.

The classes have offered children not only the chance to catch up on studies that were interrupted when their families fled violence in their homelands, but also a distraction from the long days of boredom.

Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is what is fueling the need for programs like these.

Credit: JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images

It’s the Trump policy of ‘Remain in Mexico’ that has forced programs like these to exist in the first place. The program forces asylum seekers to wait south of the border as their immigration cases proceed through the U.S. court system.

It leaves thousands of families living in tents or at Mexican shelters. Previously, asylum seekers were allowed to remain in the United States with relatives or other sponsors while their cases proceeded.

Many have spent more than a year with their lives in limbo, and the wait has only grown longer with the Trump administration suspending immigration court hearings for asylum-seekers during the pandemic.

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