Two years ago, Nathalie shared her story with students from JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design who were struck to learn that Nathalie was a 17 year-old high school sophomore completely alone in the United States. Nathalie will be graduating from Harrisonburg High School in May, 2019, and has JMU in mind as her college of choice. She will enter college a few years older than her peers, but with the strength and wisdom of someone who knows how to survive and move forward against the fiercest headwinds. Thanks to SMAD students, Melissa Blum and Mike Gefell, for helping Nathalie to share her story.
Emily is a creative, academically talented student involved in marching band. An inspirational motto on her bedroom wall reads, “Onward and Upward!” The words speak to the positive possibilities for one’s self where the goal is not simply to survive hardship, but to progress and rise in spirit. The Spanish word adelante is sometimes used by Hispanic and Latinx serving organizations, advocacy groups and community programs to speak to this same spirit of perseverance and empowerment. Continue reading
Sarai is enrolled in an academic partnership between Harrisonburg High School and Blue Ridge Community College where she has an opportunity to earn her high school diploma and a college Associate of Arts degree. Sarai says she could sum up her college statement with five words: “I am worth your time.” We think she’s worth more. Continue reading
The quietest people in the room are sometimes the ones that have the most to say. That’s our friend Lupe. Kind, artistic, family oriented, reflective, funny, fearless, observant, resilient, a fierce reader…and tiny. Plus kittens! Much thanks to Nicole Goldstein and Tyler Beatty in JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design for their work on this project.
JMU School of Media Arts and Design students, Buddy Harlow and Dan Johnson, interviewed several SLI Scholars from Harrisonburg High School about their feelings of difference, to produce this poignant film of the alienation experienced by many high school Latinos in our communities. The short film was screened at Harrisonburg’s Court Square Theater as one entry in the Fall 2015 DocFest. Much thanks to JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design, School of Communication Studies, Court Square Theater, and Three Notch’d Brewing Company for sponsoring the event, and to Professor Shaun Wright for his commitment to engaged teaching and community betterment.
It’s Kelly’s birthday!! To celebrate, we thought we’d show this video made last fall when she was a junior. Last spring, Kelly enrolled in AP Biology and worked in a university biology lab with Dr. Morgan Steffen, an Assistant Professor of James Madison University’s Department of Biology. Now that Kelly’s a senior, she’s looking into college programs that will help her achieve her dreams of studying psychology and traveling the world. Continue reading