The Lexington High School Chapter of the
National Honor Society

Supporting Immigrants in the Boston Area

Project Information

Name: Supporting Immigrants in the Boston Area

Project Coordinator: Edoardo

Signups: Closed

Maximum Number of Participants: No Limit

Start Date: 09/01/16

End Date: 01/02/18

 

Project Description

Project Title: “Supporting Immigrants in the Boston Area”

Goal and background

The goal of this project is to welcome and support immigrants in the Boston Area.

The project is the continuation of last year’s project with the same goal.

Through this project, LHS students can help immigrants by teaching citizenship/ESL classes and by providing assistance with the organization of appropriate cultural and social events.

Specifics

During last school year 2015-2016, LHS chapter of the NHS approved a project titled “Supporting Immigrants in the Boston Area,” whereby LHS students taught civics and ESL classes to low-income immigrants preparing for their naturalization exam.

In spring 2016, NHS members provided over 30 hours of community service throughout this project, by teaching classes at the Brazilian Women’s Group in Boston. The immigrant students were mostly Brazilian immigrants, working as housecleaners in the Boston area. Even though Brazilians are Latinos, they speak Portuguese, and thus cannot rely as much on Spanish-speaking institutions helping the Hispanic community. Hence, many Brazilian immigrants face even higher barriers than other Latin Americans. By helping Brazilian immigrants with their citizenship and ESL classes, NHS students have therefore provided much needed support to such a group of immigrants, while also pursuing the broader goal of welcoming and supporting immigrants within our community.

There continues to be high demand for tutors of citizenship/ESL classes to immigrants. More generally, it continues to be paramount for us to show that immigrants are welcome and supported in our community.

Therefore, building on last year’s experience, we propose that this project should continue in 2016-2017.

Below is a list of organizations where NHS students could provide service within the scope of this project.

Brazilian Women’s Group Description: The mission of the Brazilian Women’s Group is to promote political and cultural awareness, and contribute to the development of the Brazilian community. We are open to all interested women, and provide free immigration clinics; ESL and computer literacy classes; community meetings on immigration and how to protect yourself and your family against immigration raids; workshops, seminars and debates about domestic violence, health, sexual harassment, bilingual education and workers’ rights, among others; and referrals to legal and other services. We also participate in the Welcoming Massachusetts Project, run a film series called “Popcorn Show,” and help clients register to become voters and become otherwise civically engaged. Opportunities: Immigrant rights: Help to organize and inform the community about immigrant rights and ongoing legal issues, attend meetings and other events as needed, such as visiting officials at the State House. Workers’ rights: Organize and inform the community, connect workers with services and attorneys. Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights: Inform domestic workers about this important piece of legislation which just passed. Civic engagement: Assist in our citizenship classes and help with applications for voter registration. ESL and computer classes: Tutor students within these classes. Contact: Heloisa Maria Galvăo, Executive Director, 617-202-5775, (address redacted) Address: 697 Cambridge St., Suite 106, Brighton, MA 02135 (Travel time from Emerson is around 30-35 minutes.) Website: http://www.verdeamarelo.org

ABCD Citywide Hispanic Center Description: ABCD is a Boston-wide organization that helps low-income adults and families access career readiness tools, financial literacy workshops, SNAP/EBT assistance, heating and utilities assistance, and other crucial services. In addition, the Boston Hispanic Center offers the following services, unique to this location: Spanish translation/interpretation; assistance with the search for affordable housing; identity theft workshops; and a US citizenship exam preparation and instruction course. Opportunities: Help with immigration pre-screenings, civics courses, and citizenship applications. Contact: Lorena Lama, Neighborhood Client Services Coordinator, 617.522.4830 x206, (address redacted)! Address: 30 Bickford Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 (Travel time from Emerson is 20 minutes.)

Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) Description: Founded in 1977, the Chinese Progressive Association is a grassroots community organization that works for full equality and empowerment of the Chinese community in the Greater Boston area and beyond. Our activities seek to improve the living and working conditions of Chinese Americans and to involve ordinary community members in making decisions that affect our lives. Contact: Mark Liu, Civic Action Coordinator, 617.357.4499, (address redacted) Address: 28 Ash Street, Boston, MA 02111 Website: http://www.cpaboston.org

The Irish International Immigration Center (IIIC) Description: The Irish Immigration Center was founded in 1989 to meet the needs of the Irish immigrant population in Massachusetts. Today, the center continues to serve Irish newcomers and has expanded to assist immigrants from more than 100 nations every year. The IIIC provide legal advice, information, advocacy, referrals and support for immigrants on issues relating to immigration, employment, citizenship, housing and social services. The organization is committed to building bridges of understanding and cooperation across cultures, fighting racism and discrimination, advocating for the rights of all immigrants and working in collaboration with other organizations. Opportunities: Students may be involved in tutoring within an ESL class, or assisting with a citizenship course. Contact: Blair Kahn, Intern/Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, 617-542-7654 ext. 18, (address redacted) Address: 100 Franklin Street, LL-1, (Enter at 60 Arch St. or 201 Devonshire St.) Boston, MA 02110 Website: http://www.iiicenter.org/

Gilbert Albert Community Center (GACC) Description: The Gilbert Albert Community Center is a cultural resource center for immigrant families in Boston. They offer literacy and ESL classes to low-income immigrant adults (especially those in the Haitian community, which makes up a large portion of the immigrant population in Dorchester and Mattapan), as well as health and wellness programming, computer literacy courses, awomen's support group, and the information and resources needed to achieve self-efficacy. They build bridges between the immigrant families and the community through engagement in cultural events and neighborhood initiatives. Opportunities: Tutoring low-level and intermediate students in ESL, and possibly tutoring students for the citizenship exam. Contact: Sarah Cadorette, Program Manager, 651-245-7313 (personal cell), (address redacted) Address: 157 Washington St, Dorchester, MA 02121

 

Participants

There are 6 NHS members participating in this project.