2019 United Way Annual Report - Page 39

Apart from Jaquelin’s parents’ deep support of
Hannah says there is often fear surrounding
education, they are very active in local politics
advocacy in the immigrant community,
and encourage her to advocate for tuition
especially in teens. But ITOP encourages
equality, an issue that affects many immigrant
teens like Jaquelin to find their voice by giving
students. Not being able to receive affordable,
them the confidence and supportive space to
equal tuition—and in turn, an education—can
navigate complex topics that young people face:
be a huge barrier to success. When young
relationships, peer pressure and identity,
people aren’t able to afford an education, their
among others.
chances of securing a higher-paying job lessens,
fueling economic inequality among the
“There’s a lot of feeling like you need to hide
immigrant community.
in the shadows, but for her I think her growth
journey has been coming out of the background
“We are students trying to get our education,”
and demanding to be seen by her community,”
Jaquelin says. “I feel like we should pay the
she says. “She was talking to me this morning
same price that citizens pay as we are all
about Day on the Hill and she said, ‘You know, I
working toward the same goal of success.”
could be scared or I could just be scared and do
it anyway.’ ”
ITOP encourages teens like Jaquelin to find
their voice by giving them the confidence and
“If someone has to do it,” Jaquelin says, “why
supportive space to navigate complex topics
can’t it be me?”
that young people face.
PAG E 37

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