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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category


How are colleges and universities in the US are dealing with undocumented students? We survey the nation and find a wide range – some schools, like the Illinois Institute of Technology, have a special liaison for them; other schools offer in-state tuition rates.  Some even offer “underground” classes. And not everyone agrees on what to do next.

Click here to download this week’s show. Photo courtesy of Freedom University Georgia. To find out more about Freedom University, check out their homepage. And to find out more about Tom Tancredo’s organization, The Rocky Mountain Foundation, click here.




The Head Start program is usually aimed at preschoolers. But this summer, the program took three college students who have spent their lives as migrant farmworkers to Washington D.C. for an internship program that aims to open up their career horizons. We speak with the students before they head back to the fields and to school.

Click here to download this week’s show. Visit the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association for more information about their program. To see their intern blog, visit


Sammy Benavidez is a student at St. Edwards University at Austin, Texas, majoring in Social work and minoring in Psychology. In the past, he participated in the Tri-Valley Head-Start program in Grafton, North Dakota, and in TMC Head Start Program in Mercedes, Texas. He hopes to get a Masters in Social Work and also pursue a PhD.

Evangelina Alvarez is from Royal City, Washington. She is currently enrolled at Washington State University, majoring in Business Management and Operations with a minor in Spanish. She hopes to one day own her own business.

Ivon Garcia was born in Puebla, Mexico. She came to the U.S. at age three with her parents who were migrant workers. She graduated from Bridgeport High School and she is currently a Junior at Washington State University, majoring in Human Development and minoring in Women Studies and Spanish.

Cleofas “Cleo” Rodriguez, Jr. is currently the Executive Director of the National Migrant Seasonal Head Start Association in Washington, DC. His parents were migrant farmworkers in Texas and other states. He has been a strong advocate for the emotional development of young children and their families, particularly those of migrant backgrounds.

StoryCorps Historias’ Teachable Moments

As the school year ends, we hear two stories about teachers from StoryCorps Historias, one from a student who dropped out in Los Angeles and one from a student in Chicago who started his first business as a teenager in an unusual way.

Click here to download this week’s show.



Roger Alvarez (l) and his former teacher, Antero Garcia (r) in Los Angeles.



Noe Rueda (r) and his former teacher, Alex Fernandez (l) in Madison, WI. Noe grew up in Chicago.



All audio and photos courtesy of StoryCorps. Noe’s story was produced by Michael Garofalo. Roger’s story was produced by Brian Reed.

Aina: Love of the Land

We go across the Pacific to Hawaii– where Nainoa Kaiama, a high school student, shares his ambition to grow the ancient crops of his ancestors.

RadioNature is a year-long series that looks at how people of color connect with nature. Funding comes from the REI Foundation.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Photo by Richard Jensen


Dmae Roberts is a two-time Peabody award-winning radio artist and writer based in Portland, Oregon who has written and produced more than 500 audio art pieces and documentaries for NPR and PRI. She is a USA Rockefeller Fellow and received the Dr. Suzanne Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association for her Peabody-winning eight-hour Crossing East Asian American history series that ran on 230 stations. Her essay “Finding The Poetry” was published in John Biewen’s essay book Reality Radio (UNC Press).







Legal scholar Raquel Aldana discusses the case of Jose Godinez Samperio, a Florida law school graduate. He wants to take the bar exam, but there’s a catch: he’s undocumented.

Click here to download this week’s show.


Professor Raquel Aldana is a prolific scholar who is an internationally recognized expert on matters of immigration law and human rights in the Americas. She is the founder and director of the Pacific McGeorge Inter-American Program, an innovative project committed to educating bilingual and bicultural lawyers who wish to pursue a domestic or transnational career with a focus on Latino or U.S.-Latin American relations.


Young Men’s Clinic

The Young Men’s Clinic (YMC) in Washington Heights is one of the first clinics of its kind, focusing exclusively on males between the ages of 13 and 35 years old. Led by Medical Director, Dr. David Bell, the YMC works to treat and educate predominately young Latino men about their physical, mental and emotional health.

This story is produced by Whitney Eulich and edited by María Emilia Martin. It’s part of a year-long series examining health issues facing Latinos. Male sexual health is openly discussed in this piece.

Latino USA’s year-long look at Latinos and Health is made possible by funding from Pfizer Helpful Answers®, a family of patient assistance programs for the uninsured and underinsured who need help getting Pfizer medicines.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

A Life-Changing Botanical Garden

As part of our ongoing REI environmental series, RadioNature, we go to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. As a young teenager, Marcus Gallegos was looking to make positive changes in his life. He visited the Strybing Arboretum and there he found the change he was seeking. Marcus went from the downward spiral of gang life to the uplifting world of being lead intern at the botanical gardens. Today he’s a garden and science coordinator at one of the city’s public elementary schools. Emily Wilson has our story.

RadioNature is a year-long series that looks at how people of color connect with nature. Funding comes from the REI Foundation. This piece was produced by Emily Wilson and edited & mixed by Claire Schoen.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.



Bless Me in the Face of Censorship

When Rudolfo Anaya’s first novel, Bless Me Ultima, was published in 1972, the idea of Chicano literature was brand new. Almost no books by Mexican Americans were available to readers. Forty years later, the schools in Arizona have taken steps to, once again, make Chicano literature harder to get. The state passed a law created to dismantle Tucson’s high school Mexican American studies program. After that, about 50 literary and history books, even including a Shakespeare play, were removed from Tucson schools and placed on a so-called “banned books” list. Anaya’s tale of a six-year-old boy growing up in rural New Mexico was among them. Maria Hinojosa sits down with Rudolfo Anaya to talk about his latest novel and the Arizona controversy.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.


The stories of Jose Antonio Vargas and Carlos Alban are like so many who grew up in the United States: undocumented, but managing to start careers. And there are also high school and college students who call themselves Dreamers. They are fighting for the Dream Act, which would a grant a passage to citizenship to students and members of the military. For more than a decade, its been an uphill battle to get votes, and in recent years, these students have upped the ante by coming out, publicly and often putting themselves at risk of deportation. We hear from two Dreamers: Lizbeth Mateo and David Cho.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Roberto Suro

Election year is here, and as politicians, pundits, and reporters analyze every subgroup in the electorate to try and predict their votes, we take a step back and look at how changes in the Latino community might affect the upcoming presidential race. For this discussion, Maria Hinojosa speaks with veteran journalist and professor at USC Annenburg, Roberto Suro.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

From Farm Worker to Farm Owner

Karina Canto is pulling her red beets from the soil at a farm in California’s Salinas Valley. She’s a recent graduate of ALBA, the Agriculture and Land-based Training Association located in the Central Valley, that’s helping turn farm workers into farm owners and operators. It’s a unique program that has sparked a growing trend across the country.
Efren Avalos also graduated from the program.He owns and runs Avalos Organic Farm – A 17-acre plot of rich farmland located in the ranching and farming community of Hollister, California. We met up with both Karina, and Efren to find out about the journey of becoming farm owners and how it’s changed their lives.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Becoming Dr. Q

When you think of an experienced and accomplished neurosurgeon, you wouldn’t imagine an undocumented farm worker. That may change after listening to Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa’s inspirational story. An award-winning brain surgeon, who is working on finding a cure for brain cancer, he is one of the health heroes we profile as part of our year-long series on Latinos and health.

Dr. Q., as his colleagues call him, teaches oncology and neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and runs a laboratory studying brain tumors. But before he started saving lives, he was an undocumented immigrant, working in the fields of California’s Central Valley. He tells it all in his new book “Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon.” And he also shares his story in a candid interview with Maria Hinojosa.

Latino USA’s year-long look at Latinos and Health is made possible by funding from Pfizer Helpful Answers®, a family of patient assistance programs for the uninsured and underinsured who need help getting Pfizer medicines.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Instituto Familiar de la Raza

For many Latinos, mental health was once a taboo subject. But in the 1970’s, Dr. Concha Saucedo Martinez did her part to change that by founding the Instituto Familiar de la Raza in San Francisco’s Mission District. Dr. Saucedo revolutionized mental health practices by providing her clients with spiritual and culturally sensitive workshops and services. More importantly, she made therapy and psychiatric care more accessible and affordable to the Latino community in San Francisco.

Reporter Robynn Takayama profiles Dr. Concha Saucedo Martinez, as part of our series on Latinos and health.

Latino USA’s year-long look at Latinos and Health is made possible by funding from Pfizer Helpful Answers®, a family of patient assistance programs for the uninsured and underinsured who need help getting Pfizer medicines.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits is a Broadway, TV and Movie actor, an Emmy-award winner, an Activist, a father and an “Aspirante.” This last title comes from “ASPIRA,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to Latino Youth founded by Dr. Antonia Pantoja and a group of Puerto Rican community leaders in 1961. The organization has helped over half a million young Latinos, also known as Aspirantes, with career and college counseling, financial aid and other assistance.  Currently 95% of them graduate high school and 92% continue on to college.

Last week ASPIRA celebrated its 50th Anniversary and honored some if its most successful Aspirantes, including Jimmy Smits who was recognized for his on and off screen accomplishments. Smits was born in Brooklyn, NY, moved to Puerto Rico when he was nine and lived there for a few years, became a father at the age of 18 but continued pursuing his dreams and got his Master’s degree from Cornell. Today he is one of the most recognized Latino actors and is a co-founder of another organization dedicated to help Latino youth follow their dreams — the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA). Maria Hinojosa sat down with Smits to talk about his career, his activism and how ASPIRA has touched his life.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

The Connecticut DREAM Act

A different type of “DREAM act” could very soon be a reality in Connecticut – it would grant undocumented students in-state tuition rates and provide them with the same opportunities as their documented peers. Although the bill doesn’t provide a path to citizenship, it makes getting higher education much more accessible for undocumented students. The bill just passed its first hurdle in the democrat-controlled General Assembly for the second time, but this time, the new governor, democrat Dannel Malloy, has pledged to sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.

Reporter Melinda Tuhus is in New Haven, CT to find out what residents think about the bill and what its passage could mean for students and the state.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.


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