First Person American is an initiative that aims to change the public's perception of immigrants and to interject a new voice through deep and poignant portraits of people who immigrated to America. Our mission is to have a transformative effect on individual immigrant and non-immigrant lives and communities.
We plan on opening this tool for Beta users late Summer 2012. Use the form to your right to sign up for updates.
Until then, watch Welcoming Stories or Newcomers High School below to get inspired! Thank you!
In collaboration with Active Voice, Welcoming Stories aims to encourage Americans to become more welcoming, and to inspire other immigrants to share their own story about someone who made a big difference in their lives when they first arrived.
We hope to bring together these small acts of kindness, big-hearted moments and simple but life-changing connections and offer them back to you. This series of five pilot episodes was developed alongside a documentary, called Welcome to Shelbyville, which premiered nationwide on PBS.
Julie Mann leads the Human Rights class at Newcomers High School. Students learn about human rights and how to help support these rights through their own tangible actions. Students learn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and apply its principals to current situations. In recent years, the focus has been on human rights abuses against immigrants in the United States. Ms. Mann works in partnership with many human rights organizations such as Facing History and Ourselves, The Anti-Defamation League, Not in our Town, and most recently, First Person American. For more information, visit the NHS blog and the Human Rights class blog.
Newcomers High School was created to provide immigrant students with a rigorous academic program geared to achieve excellence by responding to their unique needs, while at the same time providing their parents with a supportive environment in their new country. The school serves 915 students 9-12 grade and is located in Long Island City, NY.
Dino shares his story of coming to America from Montenegro in 2010. Dino talks about having the opportunity to do something his father never did, the difficulty of leaving behind his younger brother, and his love of soccer.
Masuma talks about leaving Bangladesh with her family when she was 15. Masuma's initial excitement about coming to the United States was quickly replaced by fear once she realized how little she could communicate.
Yasmany shares his story of coming to the United States from Cuba in 2008. Yasmany's wild imagination allowed him to create a glamorous vision of himself in the United States.