This summer, I had the opportunity to work with history Professor Ann Farnsworth-Alvear and the Aquinas Center of Philadelphia. Throughout this project, I was able to learn more about immigration in the U.S. and in turn, use the knowledge I gained to help create an educational workshop that can help others learn as well.
The first part of the project consisted of research on the history of immigration, which Professor Farnsworth emphasized as an important step in understanding more about the complexities of immigration. Thus, my peers and I spent time reading literature related to immigration in the U.S. throughout different time periods and by different groups of people. We accumulated what we learned into a comprehensive annotated bibliography that we expanded on through discussions. I believe that through our readings and dialogue, I was able to comprehend more about U.S. immigration policy, where it stems from, and how it is shaped.
The second part of this project involved me working with the Aquinas Center to develop a workshop on immigration for high school and college students. The workshop will focus on various immigration and refugee statuses and mix-status families. By working with the Aquinas Center to develop the workshop, I learned about immigration in South Philadelphia and how to help in creating an educational program. Moreover, by meeting friendly and supportive volunteers, workers, and the executive director of the Aquinas Center, I was able to recognize the extensive efforts that go into making the organization valuable for its members.
As a result of this project, I learned more about immigration than I would have thought possible. I am appreciative of Professor Farnsworth’s mentorship and of my peers in helping me understand more about immigration policy and research. I am also thankful to the Aquinas Center for opening its doors to me, just as they constantly do for community members, allowing me to become involved in such a welcoming environment.