Saturday, February 2, 2013
Hispanic Americans...My truth
I was just working on a big mailing here at the school...some of the students are Jaime R Hispanic... (parents own a successful restaurant), Maria S Hispanic..father barely speaks English, mother speaks it well, daughters are two of the very, very top students at school....Sylvana G Hispanic, applying to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and other excellent engineering schools, straight A's...Natalie R Hispanic( a total grade flake but adorable and popular and doing her best!)...Osvaldo C Hispanic, 4.0 average, voted FRIENDLIEST by the Senior class (though he is one of the most serious young men I have ever met) and star soccer player (I love this kid), Vanessa T Hispanic, Head of School's honors list (highest grades) ..(others I mentioned are on the Honor's List, too..that's over 3.8)
I could go on with Hispanic names at the school but that's a good list to start with.
As part of an assignment in class, Maria unfolded her family's story to me recently; she's first generation (as are probably ALL of these kids, if some aren't even born in Mexico or Guatemala, etc.) and so proud of her very badly-spoken father who met his wife when he was a teen and she was five years older and she wanted nothing to do with this 'teen aged kid'! He told her that if she married him she'd never regret it, that he'd work harder than hard for her and any family they might have. Maria's mom did marry him, they're still happily married and they have worked HARD and their daughters are TOTAL STARS. He's still living up to his promise to his wife he still treasures. And I'd wager a bet of a thousand dollars that he's never taken one free cent from our government.
ALL these kids speak English to where you wouldn't know it wasn't their family's first language. ALL their parents are so happy to have them in a private school which pays most of their tuitions because we're expensive. We love these children. They are Americans, they love America, they work HARD, they succeed.
Our school is probably 1/3 White, 1/3 Black, 1/3 Hispanic and quite a few Asians, mostly Eurasians....(quite a few mixed Black/White, too...QUITE a few, come to think of it)...
they all sit with each other at lunch and during sports...no "Black kids over THERE" and "White kids over THERE" like in most public schools...because they are all treated THE SAME and they FEEL THAT they are all the same.
We need these wonderful children in America ....they are the future. That doesn't mean the White kids whose families came over on the Mayflower aren't still also the future! And, certainly, nobody's ignoring the Black kids whose parents' parents were slaves! (I should write about some of our Black stars some day, too). They are all LOVED and NURTURED here and they are ALL AMERICANS.
Are all our Hispanic families legal? I had no idea until I just asked our Admissions person and we do not ask about legality; it's never occurred to Administration any more than it had occurred to me.
One more kid: Guillermo G Hispanic; his young uncle, aunt and two of the four kids gunned down in their home by an assailant they didn't know...3 months ago. His hero-grandfather died about six months before that. Guillermo is quiet and sweet and a brain. His grades haven't failed in this hideous turmoil; he didn't even tell us except one of our teachers read about the murders in the paper and we put two and two together.
He's surviving...nobody's whining or suing anybody. It's a tragedy and one that a lot of the Hispanic kids aren't strangers to..but Arturo will SHINE in all he does and he's had support from us all. I don't know all their stories but I wanted to share Guillermo's. He is looking into the Naval Academy, by the way.
I wanted to write this post because I want people to understand that not every Hispanic is here with his hand out, many Hispanics are learning English, many are very intelligent and doing GREAT. The kids I know of immigrant families ROCK. I love them. I sincerely love them.
These kids are living and contributing and succeeding in their home; America.