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French For All

Click here to see all the FHLP students on the “I Learn America” Human Library.

This spring, a cohort of 5 immigrant youth (ILA Fellows: current participants and alumni of the program) working with I Learn America (ILA) was trained to engage students virtually to harness stories of personal journeys (present, past and future) to make sense of themselves in this new age, while finding time to share laughs and joy despite these uncertain times.

The Fellowship will serve as a springboard to develop participants’ voice and leadership skills they will take back to their school/community to foster empathy, build supportive mentoring relationships, and take culturally responsive community action. 

The trained “ILA Fellows” has been facilitating highly interactive storytelling/sharing workshops for the FHLP students. These workshops offer platforms for the participants to express themselves, support each other, and connect to address issues that matter to them.

This spring, FHLP students from 6 different schools came together every week, for an hour and a half, to support each other and address issues that matters to them in their own words/from their own perspective while using/practicing their French language. Through writing, video, and other creative means, they’ll produce works that define and uplift their stories.

Pursuing my education

“I moved to the United States from Benin in 2011 with my siblings, like many other African immigrants, with the hope of pursuing my education. Being a fast learner, I graduated High School on time.

I am fluent in four languages: Yoruba, French, Goun and English, and completely bilingual in French and English. I strongly believe that more bilingual immersion schools are crucial for students whose first language is not English, as a space where they do not have to start learning over from scratch and allows them to switch from one language to another without being shamed or ridiculed. Further, my experiences as having been raised in Benin by an amazing mother , taught me the importance of treating people humanely and kindly, to develop tolerance, humility, and a deep love for others–attributes that I will maintain in my profession as an educator.”

Samirath Gnabode

A la recherche du bonheur

Je suis un immigrant à la recherche du bonheur.
Je suis un immigré en quête de bien-être.
Je suis un immigrant en train d’acquérir des connaissances. 
Je suis immigré, mais je ne suis pas un objet.
Je suis un immigrant, mais je ne suis pas un esclave.
Je suis un immigrant du sud, du nord, de l’est et de l’ouest.

 J’ai droit à l’hospitalité et à un accueil chaleureux.
J’ai droit à la fraternité et à l’amitié
J’ai droit à la considération et à l’affection.
Je suis un immigrant du sud, du nord, de l’est et de l’ouest.
Je suis un immigrant d’amour et d’honneur.
Je suis un immigrant du sud, du nord, de l’est et de l’ouest.(…)
Je suis un immigré de la renaissance du monde.
Mon immigration n’est pas synonyme de faiblesse ou de désespoir.
Mon immigration n’est pas synonyme de mésaventure.
Je suis un immigrant du sud, du nord, de l’est et de l’ouest.
Fatoumata Fadiga