Friday, May 11, 2012

Week of May 17, Our Welcoming Activities

Hi everyone,

Now that you've had the opportunity to reflect on your own story, you used your experience to help another newcomer by being welcoming. You understand their situation, and you know what they're going through. It was your turn to be the welcoming person. You had the ability and knowledge to make a difference in their life. 

Use last week's notes on welcoming tips to help you be welcoming. 

In Google Docs, write a 500-word reflection that includes the following points: 
1. Introduce the person you met this week
2. Briefly tell their story and how hearing their story made you feel
3. Describe how you plan on being welcoming to this person

Now post your reflection to our class blog.

Please note that tomorrow we will continue to be filmed and photographed for our First Person American Project!  You need to wear a solid color, not black!!!


  1. This week, I met a girl from Portoferraio, Italy. Her name is Giulia Finetto. She came here on February 2012, right after the Spring break. She was born on October 15th and lived her live in Italy for the most part of her life. Where she came from, everything was hard. She lived in a very small island where not many opportunities available. Finally, she thought that she need to change part of her live and realizing the need to get better education and chances to be successful. She then proposed her will to move to the United States, the Promised Land. It was kind of a hard to move here because of the financial her family financial problem, but she is really luck since her parents are very supportive of her will.

    English wasn’t really a problem for her, since she had experiences of living in the US for a month when she was six years old. She also learned English from her uncle’s daughter who she lives with at that time. Apart from English and Italian, she also speaks Portuguese. She speaks Portuguese because of her mom is a Brazilian.

    The first time she actually moves here in February 2012, she started working as a babysitter for three little kids. It was a very tough job to do, she said. She still remembers the first week when she got here when she was really sick. She got a very high fever and had to stay in bed for days. It was not what she expected when she thought about moving here. She doesn’t know anyone other than her uncle’s family and her uncle’s friends. At last, she met lots of friends when she goes to Newcomers High School.

    Her story is really relatable, especially for the students that go to Newcomers High School. Even for myself, I can feel the connection when she said that she had to move because of education and financial problem. I can safely say that most of the students in this school have the same financial problem. Hearing her story also makes me feel that I have to help her to be very successful in her high school life. I remember how I felt the first year of going to Newcomers High School where I was left out and had no friends. I can really feel how hard her life must be back then. I’m just really glad that she found a lot of friends and get involved in couple of student activities and clubs.

    I can really tell that she met the right friends to hang out. She met one of my coolest friends who can speak Portuguese who she can talk and hang with. At least she was not left out for a long time and get along with people easily. So far, I have already told her that she is here and she doesn’t need to be afraid of being alone. She will be very welcomed here and she can talk to everyone without fear. I have also informed her about the activities in the school, such as events and what she needs to do to graduate. At last, I told her that if she ever needs a help with anything, she could ask me anytime of the day. She has my Facebook and I would be really glad to help her with either academic questions or just general questions.

    1. I feel very interested by reading this story, It is nice that you want to help her and be her friend. For a new student it is important to meet new friends all the time :D

  2. Abbas Kaafarani

    My name is Abbas, and i interviewed Mohamad Kawy this week, Mohamad is from Egypt he was born on May 10,1997, and he left Egypt in mid 2011 and he left Egypt for many reasons such as the revolution that took place in his city and state and his dad was already working here and thought that his son Mohammad would get better education here, however when he first arrived here i didnt know he was arabic, i judged by his look so i didn’t really get close to him or anything but he said something in arabic and i was shocked like he doesn’t look arabic but he speaks arabic, since then i started talking to him and hanging around with him, i helped him find the cafeteria and i sat with him at the same table and i taught him how to get his lunch, and i advised him not to hang around with people that i know are not good, i told him to concentrate on his studies because this is not our country, he was so excited with learning the ghetto way of living since he saw a lot of people acting that way, but i told him it’s really nothing and they are low life, he listened i told him we can be better, he is really smart and intelligent, but he just needs some attention so he stays on the right track, and till now we hang around and i have gym class with him and we have a lot of fun since his way of living and talking is just like mine.

  3. Some weeks ago I heard from a teacher in my school that we had a new student coming from Italy who spoke Portuguese. She said she was in the library in orientation and that I should pass by and say hello. I decided to go to the Library, but unfortunately she wasn’t there. On the next day, I had a class in the library and I saw her sitting. I took a chair sat close to her and asked if she spoke Portuguese. She said yes and we started to have a short conversation.
    Her name is Giulia Finetto, she was born and raised in Italy, but her mother is Brazilian, so she also learned Portuguese at home. She came to the U.S. by herself to study English and perhaps finish high school. I was very impressed by her courage. At last I told her to keep in touch and in case she needed any type of help I would pleased to help.
    As the time passed we started to talk everyday. I introduced her to my friends, and soon we became part of the same group of friends. Many times she asked me questions and I did my best to always help her. But I know there is many things I still can help her with. If she decides to stay in the U.S., she will have to learn about many other things, such as the schools system and the government system, how can she have study opportunities and others. I’ll do my best to make her feel at home, and be able to succeed in the U.S.

  4. In a lifetime, we have the great opportunity to meet new people in our lives. This week I had the great opportunity to meet a new girl that is a newcomer to this country (United States).She arrived here in October. Her name is Vanessa and she is from Haiti, she is 19 years old, and she is eager for a new change in her life.
    Vanessa told me that she came to this country for a better future, back in her country things weren’t good and the government wasn’t helping people . With the natural disaster that happened last year Haiti is still trying to recover from it. Vanessa was one of the lucky ones she said. She remembers feeling the whole ground shivering and she could feel it from feet to head. “That is an experience I never want to live again” Vanessa said. She told me that she felt safe here and she didn’t want to leave. Another reason she came to this country was because she wanted a better education and a better future for her , she wants to be a teacher when she grows up, and help other children. She decided that career because she couldn't get the right education back in Haiti, she wants to make sure that every kid she teaches can get the best education that she can offer. Vanessa told me that the first day she got into Newcomers high school she felt alone, and she was really grateful that I welcomed her.
    I welcomed Vanessa by inviting her to join the soccer team that will take place next fall semester. I also asked her if she wanted to go to Central Park with me and we could have some ice-cream or a dessert. At the end of the conversation she hugged me and told me I was a very good person for what I was doing, and she felt very grateful. Personally I felt very touched about her story and I would do it again.

    1. Two weeks ago I met someone who is a newcomer and trying hard to assimilate to this culture. She is girl named Popy. She is from Bangladesh but not the same city as I am. And even we both don’t have same accent of language. But we both know “the book” language. One day I saw her sitting in lunch alone and looking around but seems she is confused. So I asked her does she need any help? Then she smiled and showed her program to me. And I explained her how the schedule works. She used to go first floor and looked for room like “207” or “014”. So I told her that if the program says you have class on 207 then look for 207 in second floor and if it says 309 then go to third floor or if it says 014 then go to basement. The next day I saw her in my official class and was talking to her. And I could see her happy face and that reminds me of my old memories in Newcomers while I used to get so happy whenever I saw a bengali in any of my classes. Then the following day she got her lunch form and another paper to fill up for medical. And then I explain her what she needs to do with the lunch form and I told her to bring the papers to her parents so they could fill up.Another day we were gossiping about Bangladesh. And then by conversation , she told me that she has a hard time going to the locker room. She went to the academy school while going to the locker room. And she got very scared. Because girls locker room is in the 5th floor and we have to use only the stair “E” to get there, If you use any other stairs then you won’t find it. It's very tough. So that day I went with her and told her which stair she needs to use specially for the locker room. She is really a nice girl and most of her stories are similar as mine. I had hard time with stairs once. Her story reminds me of mine. I always asks her about how her classes are going and if she needs any help with her homework.

    2. I like the way you welcomed her.

  5. During a visit to my counselor I made a new friend, her name is Jelah. She is from Philipines and she just have a month and a half in school. I saw that she was trying to get involved in after school classes so I started talking to her about her about the things she could do at school and about my experience of coming to here. I really liked her enthusiasm to learn because it reminded me a lot of myself. I was really happy that she was trying to be involved more in school because I think that it is really helpful to try to get involved so you adapt to the school system better. While talking to her I discovered that we have many things in common for example we both live with our mothers and we both like writing. She told me that something she thinks she inherited from her father was the passion for design; She plans to join the art class as well so she can perfectionate her design skills. I really liked her and in my opinion she is a very smart girl, she knows what she wants and she knows how to get there. Although she just came to school, she told me that she had to move to another school because her english is really good (She entered the school with level 4) I hope she has the chance to stay in school so she can enjoy the classes and activities this amazing school has. Since we talked we still see each other in the hallways and even in lunch; every time we see each other we stop to talk. Although I’m graduating and there are just few weeks of school left, I will try to get to know her better.

  6. Anamaria Amaya

    Everything started on October 3, 2011 when I saw a shy girl, her name is Laura Manuela Miranda, she’s from Medellin, Colombia, when she came here she was 16 but she turned 17 on January 9, 2012. I saw her walking down the hall while I was going to the bathroom, she was looking for her classroom but she was lost at that moment. I approached her and asked her if she needed something, she asked me about the classroom and I kindly took her to her classroom. I realized immediately that she was from my country because of her accent. Laura told me she was feeling better when I was helping her. After that we started talking and she found on me a new friend in her new life.

    Then it was lunchtime and she did not have someone to sit with, I saw her looking for a table to sit and eat, I asked her to sit with me and my friends. She felt very comfortable and she sat down next to me. We started to talk more about her. She told me she was feeling kind of lost and strange because it was the first day so she started telling me that she missed a lot her grandma, she told me it was really difficult getting used to a new life without her grandma and her best friend, but at the same time she was happy to see her mom again after 10 years of not having seen her. I felt the same way when she started talking about her grandma, at that moment I started thinking about my mom, we felt the same way, we found something in common, it was that we have someone really special in our country. She lives here with her mom, stepfather and her little brother.

    The most difficult part for her was leaving her grandma because she grew up with her and also she grew up without her father and her mother, Her father died when she was just 8 months and her mom was living here in the U.S. She spent all her childhood with her grandma, aunts and her best friend.

    The goals and hopes she has is that she wants to finish High School and go to a good college and become professional as a surgical scrub nurse. She wants to show to her mom and grandma that she could reach her goals and she wants to make her grandma proud of her, After finishing College she wants to come back to Medellin and work there in her career.

    I am planning on being welcome to her by showing her different places, helping her when she does not understand english and also with math. Sometimes she has some questions about the school so I can help her out. She wants to join the Soccer team so I will introduce her with the coach.

  7. Dino Koljenovic

    This week I met Giovani, 14 years old boy who came to United States in December 2011 from Brazil. I was on the Volleyball team with Giovani, better known as Gio but never really got a chance to talk to him and get to know him better just because we were both really focused and busy during games and practices.

    Gio’s main reason to come to the United States was to help his sick grandfather. Gio moved to the U.S. with his entire family. There are a lot of differences between Brazil and U.S. for example in Brazil Gio used to go to school just during the morning and be free at night. “I was with my family always, every night we used to have family dinners and get together... here is different.” said Giovani. He used to work with his father selling auto parts. When he wasn’t with the family, he was with his friends. Gio’s two best friends were twins and he knew them for about 5 years. On his way to the U.S. he took his special notebook in which his best friends and schoolmates had to write something and sign. Even though he loves Brazil and he used to enjoy playing Queimado with his friends, he wasn’t sad when he was leaving because he thought the life could be better.

    English wasn’t a big problem for Gio even though he didn’t learn much of it back in Brazil, he made friends fast in U.S. and improved his language skills as he kept talking to people. When he got in the Newcomers High School, he thought he would be surrounded with Americans and Americans only. It wasn’t really like that, there was a lot of Brazilians in school and he said that helped a lot.

    One thing Gio would never miss from Brazil is poverty, people with nothing to eat... he couldn’t even think about it. People were dying from poverty, something not really good to remember...” said very young and very, very smart new friend of mine.

    One thing that Gio enjoys the most is going out with his friends. I kind of knew that and I took him to the Brazilian restaurant with several other friends from his country. He seemed to be the happiest person ever that day, he was smiling and laughing... simply enjoying.

    Since Gio also enjoys playing soccer, I’m planning to get him on the team for next year. Even though he is so young, he’s been though a lot and he thinks about life very mature. My goal is to keep welcoming him and help him whenever he needs something. My name is Dino and that was my welcoming action for this week.

  8. Welcoming Activity

    I have met a chinese boy who comes from same hometown as me. I mean the same city which is Chengdu. He is 18 years old. Now is the second year that he stays in Newcomers High School. He is living in Flushing where is very far to my House. He has a great family structure. He is living in a very lonely family. And he is living in rich family. He has no problem on his family responsibility. He is living very free. His parents are not working at New York.
    He likes to play games in internet. He is having his own life with people in China. He is kind not outgoing in America. But he has a plan on his future about College.
    I have met him in lunch period. We talked in our native language(not Mandarin). First time we met, we talked about our hometown. We exchanged our cell phone number. Since that, we talk to each others very often. Then I introduce our school to him; and each teacher office. I talked about the College with him. I also bring him to school activities such as sports, academic after school program etc.
    I feel great about helping him. I feel like I really contribute something back. And I learned lots of things from him. When I help him, I am helping myself also. Actually, I have not met new people for a very long time. I feel great about to accept a new person into my life.
    I am planing I am going to bring him to Manhattan as a tour. I know lot of place where people really can have fun. And I will bring him to Museum; and introduce the American Culture to him, which will help him on his History Class.

  9. Being welcoming is a great experience of life. This week I asked my friend who is a newcomer in the city for her story. Her name is Luisa Briseno. She comes from Santander, a city in Colombia. Three months ago she was worried about how to survive in the city because it was a new world to her. However, now I can see that she is very enthusiastic about going to school and learning more about the city. Her charismatic way of being positive showed me that she is full of hope. As well, she is willing to fight and reach success in this country. Luisa is a great person who keeps struggling and learning new things but her story demonstrated that she had made great efforts coming to America.
    Different decisions in Colombia made her come America. She said that she was nervous about the idea to come to the US. On February 8th, she had began a new life in New York City not knowing where to go or what to do. The same day she was register to go to Newcomers High School. She said that she missed Colombia and her people there. It was difficult for her to make new friends and she was alone the first days of school. English was an great obstacle for her to overcome. It was frustrating to remain silent and not talk to people like she used to do in Colombia. Things began to get better when she made a friend. Clara her new friend who is also a newcomer made her feel more comfortable in the school. Schedules, hours, teacher and even the food in the lunch was different. She had to choice but to adapt all those things to her life. She began making more friends and finding fun things to do in the city. Hanging out has become a great opportunity for her to share experiences and know the big city that surrounds her. Likewise, she found new things to do at school that help her with her english. Like many of us, she has dreams and visions for the future. She would like to learn Mandarin and become a professional in International Commerce. She said that very enthusiastic with a jovial voice that made me know that she is going to fight hard to achieve those goals. A voice that demonstrates that she will be a successful girl in this world.
    There are many things to welcome Luisa. We even went out with some other friends to Manhattan. She was very excited about it. It was great to showed her the city and the way how people have fun in the city. We planned to go to the beach in summer. I know she will happy when we go there. As well, we keep in contact to hang out with other friends. Being welcoming is a great opportunity not just to help but to meet someone with a story that can impact her or his life.

  10. Kungkey Tso

    In a lifetime , we are blessed to meet so many different people . Each one of these people that we meet can leave big or small memorable impressions on us . I had a chance to meet this wonderful girl named Kungkey Tso . She was born in Tibet and came to the United States in 2010 with her mom and her two brothers. She was enrolled to Newcomers High school as a freshman in September 2011 .But before she came to this school , she actually was an eighth grader for six months in a middle school here in New York .
    Even though she was enrolled to the school back in September , we didn’t really know one another . I saw her a few times during launch times but we never really had an actual conversation . The first time I did talk to her was when we were at a meeting for the beginning of our school girls tennis team . I love playing tennis tennis and I was so glad to see so many new girls who wanted to be a part of our team . I was a part of the team last year and back then tennis was a very new to me and so was for Kungkey herself . She told me that this is her first time playing tennis ever in her life . I noticed that whenever we had practices , she was always working hard to learn how to play the game . She got better and better every time . And what made me even happy for her was that during our very first game , she played as a single for her very first match . She didn’t win but she had a really close match and we were all really proud of her .
    One day . while we were waiting to go to a game, Kungkey , my best friend and I sat down at the gym and we started talking about life , what we like to do and when we came to this country . She talked about the situation in Tibet and how the Chinese government is treating the people of her country who are protesting for freedom . She was personally affected by this . One of her brother is a monk and was arrested in jail for several years because he made a phone call talking to the press about what the Chinese government did . kungkey , her mom and her other two brothers decided to leave Tibet to live in Nepal . Than they moved to live in India for a few years . And finally they decided to come here in the United States to live with her dad who has been her for a very long time . After hearing her story , it really touched me . She says , she misses her brother a lot . I wish for her the best to be able to meet him again very soon .
    Kungkey and I found a common love in sports and I hope to be more welcoming to her by helping her in getting even better in tennis and hang out during the summer .

  11. The new person who I met this week named Huaying Chen who is a girl from China. She has been America just for 2 months. She told me that she has been a 11th-grade student already in China, but when she came here, she has to take the 10th grade again to get the enough credits. She told me, when she just came here, she felt be separated, especially in the science class. She said that nobody talk with her and the teacher felt not satisfied with her, and when classmates have to work in group, she was always left. But now, she said she gets used to this new environment, she made some friends and she likes them and she has been familiar with teachers already. She said she doesn’t want to trans for another school ( she was told to trans to another school next semester as she came to this school). What’s more, she is a girl who is very positive and like to study, she wants to be a top student in Newcomers High School. Her story doesn’t make me feel something so much, because I think her experience is normal and what she faces was what I faced at the beginning. As a elder in this school, I would try my best to make her feel she is not alone, she has friends here. Now, I have her contact, I would be keeping touch with her in my free time to help her and teach her about the rules in the school.

  12. My name is yasmany and the person i interview was Helanna Bencosme and she is from dominican republic. she was born in october, 25, 1993 and she left her country at the age of 15 when her father died of a stroke. She left her country because she said that when she wanted a better education, she wanted to learn english and she wanted to live with her family who was born here in the united states. She said that her mother didn't want to leave the country they were born in but that she decided to take that decision because she wanted her kids to live a better life in a place where they were going to have better opportunities of being successful in the future.
    i remember that day when we were all in the cafeteria and we were eating around the table everyone was laughing and she was there alone sitting. She look sad , scared , frustrated ,i think she wanted to leave the school. She felt afraid to talk to people. She thought people was laughing at her for some reason or the other. That was actually her first day and she felt like that was her worst day ever. That was the time i arrived and ask her if she needed something and she said no. So i asked her to join our group and she went there. After that I asked for her program and I saw we had gym class together. I told her where she had to go to get change and she had to bring her program to the class. After that she felt very welcomed because she has friends that could help her out with homework or if she has some question about the school. The goal for Helanna is to show her dad all she did for him.

  13. John Gonzalez Ms. Mann

    This week I met a girl who has lunch with me. Her name is Jenny Rodriguez, she is seventeen years old and she is from Colombia. She has been in this country 7 months already but just 5 in the school. I chose Jenny because she seems a really nice person. I talked to her and I realized that she didn’t know anything about how the system works in this country neither english. So I thought it would be great if I just became her friend and if I could help her with some problems that she had, specially with the new language, in that way she would feel a little more comfortable.
    Jenny told me a little bit about how she came here. She lived in Bogota, Colombia. Where she used to live with her grandmother and her aunt, she didn’t have brothers or sisters. Her parents leave her in Colombia when she was fourteen years old because they heard that in the United States there was a lot of work and money so they came legally because her parents have the residence. She felt really alone and she passed a really hard time of depression. One day her grandmother talk to her in private saying that it was time to see her parents, she got so excited thinking that they were going to come back from Colombia but when her grandmother said that she is going to miss her and started to cry she realized that her parents weren’t coming back, she was the one leaving. That night she couldn’t sleep thinking about what would happen with his family, his friends, everything, but she had to be strong and she faced that problem, she had to lose something to gain something, in this case it would be lose his friends and family in Colombia to be with her parents. When she came here she didn’t had great expectations about this country, she just thought that this country would be like the other ones just with more technology and people from other countries, that’s why she feels like she already knew how this country was going to be. Now she lives happy because she has both of her parents, but she feels a little nostalgic missing her family and friends in Colombia but she has faith that this winter she would go back to Colombia for Christmas. Her story made me feel a little depressed because of her grandmother who is waiting for her in Colombia but at the same time I feel really happy and excited because she had a lot of courage to face the problems that she had and also because she will go back to Colombia this Christmas.
    I think this girl is a proof of encouragement and hope because she was afraid to come and she has faith to see her loved ones again. So I plan to help her by presenting her to my friends, I have a lot of friends who had faced the same problems and they are really nice persons so we can make her feel a little bit more comfortable and happy, also I plan to help her with her English. I already help her in some problems that she had with her English homework and I will still help her and give her support and tips whenever and wherever she needs me because I know how it feels to be alone and don’t have support from anyone.

  14. 1. Introduce the person you met this week
    2. Briefly tell their story and how hearing their story made you feel
    3. Describe how you plan on being welcoming to this person

    There is one new student who is named liu zewen, and we are from the same place. he is a big man, but he is younger than me. he is a very outgoing person who always speak very loud. the first time i met him, he was speaking with a teacher even though the teacher can’t understand him.he use his hand and body move to show what the was trying to say.
    his story is pretty much same as me, and i can totally understand him when he told me his story. in the place we come from, we have to get to very early to go to school. and all the effort we have made ,seems no result come out. since the city is not modern,and the life there is very hard. so his parents decided to immigrate to the US. his parents are not good at English as well, so that their life is not easy at the beginning . i felt very close to him, and i will try my best to make him welcome and comfortable.
    since he is not good at English, i will suggest him to take after school which helped me a lot. i have introduced him to my friends and tell them he is from my hometown. he is very welcomed and happy to stay with us. i will suggest him to read some book and watch movies. i studied English with playing video games, i won’t suggest him to do so.

  15. Mayda Guano

    At lunchtime some tables were empty and he was sitting there, Alejandro Martinez, my new friend. I was with my friends and we were looking for a table. Then I ask him if no one is sitting there and he move his head saying no. My friends and I sat and started talking but I noticed that the boy sitting next to me was alone and then I start to talk to him. He is from Mexico and he likes his second name Alex. He came on October 2011 and I never saw him.
    He was very shy but funny at the same time. We had a good conversation but short because he didn't want to talk about his personal life. When I ask him about his life in Mexico and family he stay quiet. I don't know if because he feel shy or something else and I started to think why?. But he told me about what he likes and his struggle. I feel like a stranger for him and maybe thats why he didn't tell speak more.
    I told him how I felt sitting alone the first day of class and he told it was hard for him too. He has six month in school and have friends but he never expect to someone from different country speaking with him. I told him that I have Mexican friends and I love mexican food. He felt very happy that I like his culture and food. While we were talking I introduce to my best friend Monica. Later I ask him what sport he like and he said soccer, swimming and tennis like me. We had so much in common in sport and hobbies.
    When the lunch was over we still talking like he struggle in English and other classes and I told him to ask for help to the teachers and me. We exchange emails and find each other on facebook. Later I told him that I am a senior and is the first time that met someone with the same experience and hobbies at lunch. I told him to keep in touch and he did. Every single day in the hallways we say hello each other and talk about different things about school but not about his personal life in his country. I think he feels shy or maybe later on he will speak about it.
    He was part of the soccer or tennis team and my friend and I ask him if he will go to the Athletic dinner and he say yes. I told him that we can go together and have fun. By chat I told him in not to feel afraid and study hard to go to college. Also I told him that we can go to the pool to practice for his next year and be the captain of the swimming team. It feels good to listen Alex hobbies and dreams. I will keep being friend with him.
    I plan too many things to make him feel welcoming like help him in his homework and have fun. Also have lunch with my friends. But not least to encourage him and offer my help in any problem he has.

  16. This week I’ve met a great student and a great person his name is Malik he is 17 years old and he is from Burkina Faso, and she came to the US in February 2012. He was with me in the Tennis team but we didn’t really have the chance to sit and talk to him and get to know him more. since I was busy in practicing and didn’t really talk to him that much only hi and how are you, these were the only two things I’ve said to him every time i meet him.
    Malik was born and Raised in Burkina Faso, the reason why he came to the united states was since his father was a diplomat, his father was sent to the UN so he had the chance to take his whole family and come on to the US. Back home he used to have a lot of friends and some of them they were “pretending” to be his friends so they can talk to his father and maybe get some money or even a job. he was like a bridge between some people and his father. he moved her with his whole family. Malik likes to read, play soccer, and watch some Documentary TV shows. he is a normal guy who likes to have fun in his free time. he has been in military school for 6 years, which is surprised me because a young man joining the military since the age of 17. he has been here for 6 months, but he started learning english before coming here because he was expecting to have some exams and he will have to pass them and he always wanted to be an engineer, so he knew he had to study a lot in order to success.
    during the week I helped him to to know more about the school’s system. since he was new he didn’t know that much about it. he asked me about how to move from one grade to the other one and I told him that you have to pass classes and regents in order to get the credit so you can move from one grade to another. also, I asked him if he need help in the school like class rooms, teachers, etc, he “since I’m new, it will be fun learning about the school.” I took him to the 3rd floor and explained how each floor is divided into sections. First is English, Second is Social Studies, and third is Math and Science. I also took him to ping-pong club and we played a little bit ping pong. not only that i introduced him to my AP US Government teach Mr. Gill, and I told him in the future if you have any question don't be shy to ask, i will be more than happy to answer.

  17. This week I interviewed a student and her name is Sultana Begum. She is from Bangladesh to the United States on April 2011 and she is 14 years old. She started school on September 2011 in 9th grade. She immigrated with her mother, brother and sister. Before coming to this country her life was perfect, she was very happy and she didn’t have to face any problem there. She immigrated to this country to get more opportunities besides study. Her life was easier in Bangladesh than U.S.A. In this country she had to face the problem with the American culture and costumes.She could not find any Bengali friend who she can talk with. She had to struggle a lot for not knowing English. Not only that, sometimes people used to tease her because she is shorter than everyone else and that hurts her. But she doesn’t care about those little things. First when she came to the Newcomers High School she didn’t understand English pretty much. She was in ESL class in level 1 with Ms. Depas. She was Sultana’s welcoming person. She helped her with the home work and lot of other stuff like understanding the culture of this country. In final test when she got 95 Ms. Depas encourage her to keep it up this work and try best as much as she can. I remember last year she had a problem with a boy. In that classroom some Spanish students were talking in their language suddenly he said a bad word to her in Spanish which is “ you maricon” and it means “ You are a Gay.” She didn’t know the meaning of the word and she was the only Bengali student in that classroom. She asked Ms. Depas and Ms. Depas didn’t answer her she just said to her,” It’s a very bad word”. The boy was teasing her again and again not knowing that word. Then Sultana got angry on that boy so she repeated that word to the boy. The boy got angry and he started to make noise in the classroom. I had class besides Ms. Depas class. So, she asked me to help her for translating Sultana. Ms. Depas explained to me everything then I went to Sultana and heard everything about that situation. I told her “Not to say that word anymore people has their mouth let them say that, you know who you are and don’t be angry. If you have any problem say that to your teacher or us. You have so many big sisters in this school.” Then she didn’t get angry anymore. Later Ms. Depas saw me and thank me for that day and she said to me from that day Sultana didn’t get hyper in the classroom anymore. She is the smallest Bengali girl in this school and for that we all call her “Chikita” means little. She has broad mind and her hopes will let her go forward. She want’s to be a doctor and wants to get higher education in this country. I wish her dreams will become true one day.

  18. The person I meet during this week at lunch is Alex Espinoza. He is tall, black hair, brown eyes and thin. He likes play soccer. He is fun. He always sit during with his sister Diana. Alex is from Guayaquil Ecuador. He came to the United State five months ago. He come to this country with his sister and his mother. He was happy, sad and confused to came to this country because his father remains in Ecuador.
    When he came to United Stated his family was separated. He never live without his father before and now he need to learn how to survive only with his mother. He remember the last words that his father that he told him was “ obedece a tu mama y portate bien con tu mama” (obey your mother and carry on well with her). He cries because he was separating from his father for a long time. When he was in the airplane he and his sister were talking about how will be United State. He thoughts in buildings and the diversity of people in this country how his uncle told him before. When the arrived in the airport his aunt and his uncle was waiting them there. He was confused when he arrived in this country and when his mother sent him to the school. He don’t speak English. He only talk during all day with his sister. He always is supported by his father, mother and sister. The support from his family make him strong each time and can adapt in his new life. In the school to him was hard because He has before a different system of education where the teacher go to the classroom and here he need to go the classroom. Also He didn’t understand the schedule and the different classroom. The first day he was lost in the school and confuse where he need to went.
    He is in ESL 1. I told him that I also was in the first day confused and I cried because I don’t understand anything when other people talk. I meet some of my friends and was sit with him during the lunch time. I give to him advice that never give up same like one teacher told me when I was freshman in the school. I also help him with math. I indicated him if he have some problem with the schedule, he needs to go see his counselor that is in the program. I help him with vocabulary. I told him if you have problems I can help you or we can find a teacher who can help you. I teach my favorite sport that is handball. I told him is good learn and experiment new things and place then we can learn more each day, looking different things.

  19. Yingying chen

    The New student who comes to this school just 3 mouth. Her name is Chia en Hou. She comes from Taiwang. I meet her on Monday, at lunch time. She is a very nice and cute girl because when I introduce myself and ask her question, she always listen to me and answer my question.
    She told me that the first day she came to this school, she felt very lonely because she didn’t know anyone in this school and she didn’t know a lot of English. The first day she got her program, she didn’t know how to find her classroom. She always late because she spend a lot of time to find the classroom. In class she didn’t understand what did teacher talk about, so she didn’t do her homework in the early time.
    After a couple weeks, she knew some chinese in her class, so when she has problem about classwork or homework she will ask them. Now, she make a lot of friends in this school, she feels better. I feel so sad because in the early time she came to this school, nobody welcome her.
    I think I could give her a tour of this school because I know this school very well now. i could tell her how to find her classroom in the short time. I also will tell her my story, maybe it could make her feel better or not lonely. I will be one of her friends, i will give her my QQ and phone number so when she has any problem, she could contact me. I will try my best to help her solve her problem.

  20. fArida van gennip

    Last week I met this girl from peru her name is cileen .she is 14 years old and I actually welcome her by telling her how to get her lunch and with her program so she would know how to get to her classes.also She was shy and alone in the lunchroom so I would sit with her in the lunchroom and we would have a little conversation because her english isn't that great she is level 1 .Most of the time we would talk about school because i think she was desperate and i told her not to give up and if she keep doing what she suppose to do that she will be fine .

    She left peru at the age of 14 with her sisters and parents .leaving her country was sad and homesick feeling and she don't really know some people from her country and she speak a little bit of english so its really good that i met her even with a little bit of spanish i know i was trynna tell her about how education is important and about her program because she did not know to which classes she had to go so i helped her to get to her class and was nice asking her about herself even though that she was not comfortable talking to me.

    I told her how it was for me first when i reach here i was emotional i just wanted to go back to see my country because i left my family behind .AND WHEN I FIRST CAME TO NEWCOMERS I WAS LUCKY THAT I FIRST MET TWO NICE GIRLS EVELIN AND MELLY BUT AFTER THAT I DIDN'T HAD CLASSES WITH THEM BUT I AM ALWAYS STILL NICE TO THEM AND I MADE FRIENDS BUT THATS NOT NICE AND GOOD BECAUSE I HAD TO GO TO THE CAFETERIA WHERE I DIDN'T KNOW ANYBODY TOO and different languages that were spoken and i was the only dutch speaking student and so i was forced to speak english all the time with all students .but i think and believe it has helped me because for what i see is that kids in newcomers only speak english when they have to and some graduate with no english or just a little bit of it and that is really sad but the system make them comfortable because they have classes for different subjects for spanish and chinese students for example and that's good for them but bad for them on the other side because they not learning that way.But it's still nice .

    I am really glad to welcome cileen to newcomers it make me feel great and i believe its always good to motivate people because i remember how couragement make a differnt in my life telling me to keep moving forward be positive and do i would really like that she will do well in the future by graduating after a couple year and by moving on to college.

  21. I have a new friend, name Annning li. He came from China a couple of months ago with his family and eventually met his father in this land. He is 16 years old now, and I have known him for two months already. I did not involve into his life a lot when I just met him. However, since I attend First Person American workshop, I realize the significance of helping others as a welcoming person. And how much it means to others when we help them out in the hard time of their lives.
    He came to America in last fall, and he came here with extremely poor language skill. The English seems something that he can never understand according to what he experience in the beginning. He always found himself lost and confusing in the world of speaking English. And he just wanted to get out of that trap. Most of time when he didn’t understand what people speak, he just easily say:”me no English.” And this tended to be the English words that he spoke most often.
    I plan to help him adapt into real American life. I will bring him to library to study English and even other subjects if he needs. Most importantly, he not only need to study English, he also need to practice what he learns. So , I will bring him to park to play sports. This is very important and essential to him to practice this speaking skill as well as the communication skill to others. I will also tell him about my story when I just got here, and how hard it was for me to go through as I was trapped in English. I will encourage him that every step that he will take can make him go toward to his dream and goal closer. So I will tell him not to stop himself at anytime and especially in tough time, he must hold his spirit tight and never give up his dream.

  22. Last week, I met a girl named Jinfu Zhao. She is from Hongkong, China. She has been here for just three months. Because she has the same football class as i do, i have a chance to talk with her. At first she refused to do the interview after i told her about this “Welcoming Activity”. I was kind of disappointed, but I still trying to tell her about the benefit of sharing her personal story and personal feelings with others. Finally, i convinced her.
    She is a shy and timid girl, do not talk much, always sit there quietly. She said she felt so boring when she first came to school. She sat in the library and did the test for the entire day. After three days of testing, she finally got her new program. She felt so happy about the new program, but after she knew that she needs to find the classroom by herself, she felt kind of nervous too. When she find her classroom, she was standing in front door and do not even have the courage to knock the door. Fortunately, someone in the classroom discovered her, and told the teacher. Eventually, she got into the classroom, and start study in her new school.
    Her experience is pretty much as my own. I found lots of common characteristic between she and me. I think i will introduce my friends to her, and she will not be lonly anymore.

  23. Last week, I met a boy which is from china. His name is Jie Wang. He also is an immigrant as I am. When I first met him is in a basketball playground. I was playing with my friends. After a while, I took a rest. I saw him standing here and watching those people playing. Then I talked to him in english, but I found out he didn’t speak english. Then I saw there is a bag and some chinese word on it. So I tried to use mandarin to talk to him, then he speak out. After the conversation, I knew a little bit about him.
    Jie Wang, is a chinese boy and 18 years old. He came here for more than half year. For these months, he stayed at home almost everyday. Before I knew him, I realized his english is not well. He would have a lot of trouble to live here. Suddently , I remembered I had a class which taught us how to be a welcoming person, then I asked more about him. but he looks unsure to tell me so many about him. then I stop keep asking him.
    But now, I feel very good to talk to a new immigrant because my action let him know that he is not alone. He can find help from me. So it is a good start for him. and I got his phone number by last coversation, I believe I can help him adapt the new enviroment. Also I am planning a trip for summer vacation and I am going to add him. help him get rid of lonely as fast as I can.

  24. The person I helped was Carlos, he is from The Dominican Republic, and he came here just three months ago. He is fifteen years old, tall enough for his age, with short black hair, and light skin. I first met him at lunch, he was alone, because he was waiting for others new students to come, I asked him “what happen? Why are you sitting alone? Are you new?” , he told me that he was waiting for his friends, but he showed a very nice personality and I ask him some questions, and he was also asking me. He is from Santiago,Dominican Republic, I am not from there, I am from the city, but my father was born in a place near there, and I used to go for vacation; hence, I know a lot nice places that are located at Santiago, and many of their customs, we both feel a connection. I think he was comfortable talking with me, and I was trying to know his weakness, but he was trying just to say the best parts of his story, which made me feel as if I was not a trustworthy person. That day ended and I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with him anymore, until three days passed; when I saw him again I was very happy, I don’t know why. We met at the library and I could talk a lot with him; he told me he will like to study broadcasting, and I was in shock, I am interest in the same thing.

    That day in the library , I felt very sad; he started to tell me the reason why he came here, the real one. His family is very poor, he used to live in a house made of wood, and when it was raining the water got inside his home. He was very serious telling me his story, he told me his mother had to work very hard, and some days he went to bed without eating anything, tears came from my eyes, I couldn’t wait to hear the happy moments of his life. Although, he lived like that, he told me he enjoyed, he used to made toys with garbage, which he thought were wonderful. His father left him and his mother, when he was just two years old, he had not seen him since that day, but his mother always tell him, he has to love his daddy. She says, “without your father you would not exist”. His mother came here as an undocumented, she started to work on a factory and then on a supermarket, and he stated alone in his country, he dreamed with NY. He thought this was the best place, and it really was. After a year, his mother have a residence and he came, they live in a housing apartment, he doesn’t sleep with an empty stomach anymore, and now he has fancy games, he loves video games, but he doesn’t forget about his toys made of plastic bottles, or his ball made of shopping bags. Actually, he brought one of them, although his mother told him he won’t need to play with garbage anymore. Carlitos story made me very sad, it really touched me. He thanked me for listening to him, as if he had not say it to anyone else.
    That day he had to do a project for his English class, but it was the first time he touched a computer. He didn’t know how to do it, but I offer myself to help him know how to use a computer, I told him that almost all the teachers put computers assignments. I think that he will thank me for helping him.

  25. The person that I welcomed into United States was a young guy from Poland. His name is Maciej just like mine and he is 15 years old. He left Poland because his family was seeking better lives and opportunities for themselves and for better future for them children. He left his country in January 2010. I remember when I first met him. He were very scared and I could tell that he didn’t feel comfortable in this country that was very new to him. The first time when I met him was in his house because he is one of mine best friends little brother. I welcomed him into United States by helping him in Newcomers High School. When he first arrived into my school I saw him during lunch A in cafeteria, I came to him and asked if he wants to sit with me at the same lunch table. He seemed happy when he saw me and the information the I am in the same school as he is maked him feel much better. I saw that he was a little scared at his first day, but I explained it to him that the begging is the hardest and later on it will only be better for him. I showed him school and all the classes on his program, so he will already know where to go. At early days I used to help him with his homeworks and I was helping him with the language. In my opinion I did much more than just welcome him to new country. Later on me and his brother showed him our neighborhood and the most interesting places that you can spend time in. I am also helping him with making good decisions. For example he told me that after high school he doesn’t want to go to college, I am still convincing him that it will be much better even if he will finish a community college I just hope that he will make a good decision for himself that will affect
    his future later one. I welcomed him on many ways, which I feel good about myself that I could help someone, and I will do it again if somebody will need my help.