In this story, “Be the Change You Wish to See,” Vanessa shares her own personal story of having her mother deported suddenly when she was little. As the eldest, she describes maintaining a “brave face” for her younger siblings, and related to Kimberly’s story from the documentary Life on the Line. When Vanessa was enrolled in an extra honors class accidentally, she realized college was in her future. Now she’ll do whatever it takes to help her parents, who struggled to create a better life for Vanessa and her siblings.
Vanessa lives in a low-income community housing development near her high school. In the interactive piece, you can navigate and explore her neighborhood and the following related resources:
- N.Y. Times covers the rising number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/us/immigrant-population-shows-signs-of-growth-estimates-show.html?_r=0
- Official Immigration & Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) deportation statistics http://cis.org/ICE-Illegal-Immigrant-Deportations
- Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project reports trends and statistics on immigration www.pewhispanic.org
- Hispanic student dropout rate still highest in nation — U.S. Department of Education statistics https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=16
- Video report from Voice of America lays out both sides of immigration debate for border communities http://www.voanews.com/media/video/1621450.html
- El Viento, an organization that works with Vanessa and youth like her in Huntington Beach, helping them to overcome obstacles mentioned in Vanessa’s story to attain their educational goals. http://elviento.org