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Second Generation Immigrants

Persistence's picture

I feel very strong about Salas's paper on the barriers, strategies and support systems that second-generation immigrants utilize to succeed in elite college campuses. I feel like I relate to all the factors he mentioned that maid aid in the personal, academic and professional success of second-generation immigrants. Although I became an American Ciziten in 2006, I still identify as a second generation immigrant simply because of the barriers I have inside and outside the classroom. Salas talked about how Immigrant children have parents who are less able to help them with their schoolwork due to language and cultural barriers. I grew up struggling to do homework because I was an English second language student. It was hard for me to understand what my assignments were and what I was supposed to do. I asked my parents for help all the time, but they could not help me because they received very little education hence they did not graduate from middle school. I felt trapped because I could not communicate my struggles to my peers or my teachers. I was more dependent on my school to help me because of the resources they offered. This may explain why the lack of practical support at home may lead to immigrant children to be more dependent on schools to provide the resoruces and education they need to succeed in life. As a second-generation immigrant, there is a lot of pressure in me to succeed. I am the first generation in my family to go to college and expectations are high. I feel as if I am obligated to give back to my parents for all they have done and all they have given up in order to get me to where I am today.  This may also be one of the many factors to why Immigrants children tends to be more motivated than their native-born peers. Salas talked about how immigrant children have higher motivations than their peers due to their high levels of family interdependence and level of commitment to the family because there are more responsibilities, pressure, and work outside the classroom. Immigrant children are expected to support their families emotionally and financially into adulthood. My parents and my environment remind me of these responsibilities all the time.  These extra responsibilities could have negative and positive effects in the classroom. Sometimes I feel as if I get too caught up in family business and forget that my education comes first. I grew up at a very young age, but I am grateful for the help I received from from certain organizations that aid students through identity issues or hardships they face individually or collectively. I started from the bottom, but I am still working my way up with guidance coming from left and right.  Like other immigrants, I have developed a strong "ethnic consciousness" of how my identity impacted my life. I know there are usually issues with unemployment, lack of space, a sense of general discrimination everywhere I go. Yes, I am a citizen of America today, but my struggles are the same of those who are not because my barriers never left. Sure, the degree of my struggles may not be the same as others, but there will always be a stigma when it comes to how others identify me. There is not much I can do about it because of the economic environment we have today. I guess I just need to use these isssus as tools to motivate me to work harder in school and enter higher education with the ability, skills, and drive needed to succeed inside and outside the classroom, in the community and in the work force.