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Immigrants Of The Day: NY Times Scholars and Immigrant Parents (Russia, Ghana, Nigeria, Vietnam, China, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Israel)

by Kevin R. Johnson

The N.Y. Times has given us a group of immigrants to honor.  The 2008 NY Times Scholars include a group of immigrant students, and children of immigrants, who are pursuing the American Dream.  

Chosen by a panel of editors, reporters and educational consultants, this years scholarship recipients include six immigrants from Russia, Ghana, Nigeria, Vietnam, China and Guyana. Three are the children of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Israel.

Here is one story:

"Before the economy collapsed and thrift became a national watchword, a high school senior named Wei Huang was already scouring New York City for bargains, determined to support herself on the $10 a month she had left after she paid her rent. Ms. Huang, 20, one of 12 high school seniors named New York Times Scholars this year, immigrated to New York from China with her parents in 2007. But when her parents found the transition to American life too hard and returned to China last year, she decided to stay here alone, entranced by the citys streetscapes and the thought of attending college here one day.

She found a job at a florist paying $560 a month, and a house to share in Ridgewood, Queens, for $550. That leaves $10 a month, which she spends carefully on large bags of rice, chicken leg quarters at 49 cents a pound, and whatever vegetables are cheapest. Throw in the two free meals a day at school, a student MetroCard and the unexpected kind act her English teacher, for instance, gave her $100 and she manages to get by.

April 8, 2009 | Permalink

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.