Date of Award
I became involved with St. Rita's Immigrant and Refugee Center in August of 2011 and immediately began teaching English classes to groups of adult immigrants in the University Heights areas of the Bronx. The class was relaxed and open, so conversations flowed freely among the diverse group of students. One of the first things that become clear was that communication was difficult. Immigrants that come to a new country not only have to know the difference between 'to be' and 'to have', but also the nuances that separate phrases such as 'shut up' and 'please be quiet.' The other thing that became apparent over time was that even with a good grasp of English, many immigrants may have very few people to speak it to. Ethnic areas of cities, especially New York, tend to be so segregated and isolated from the wide American population that immigrants are often able to maintain a lifestyle and social interactions that differ very little from what they experienced in their country of origin.
Waickman, Caitlin, "Interethnic Relations as a Strategy for Community Empowerment: The Case of University Heights" (2012). African & African American Studies Senior Theses. 11.