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Elizabeth Sarmiento is from Honduras and works as a project manager with Valley Verde, a non profit company based in San Jose. The company provides gardens and supplies to low income families, and Elizabeth and her colleagues teach the families about nutrition and growing their own food in a way that yields healthy food while having minimal impact on the environment.
Elizabeth describes her journey working odd jobs and attending evening classes to learn English. She transferred to Foothill College and joined the ESL program, eventually moving to De Anza College to study in the Environmental Studies Department.
She describes all the different employment options in the environmental studies field. For example, she talks about opportunities in water conservation and water resource management and in landscaping which is a huge field in itself. There is also the option to become an educator in any of these fields.
Elizabeth emphasizes that almost any job can promote sustainability and awareness of environmental impact.
by Julia McGurk
If you grew up in California, the chances are you went to school with someone who would be categorized as Generation 1.5, and the chances are that you wouldn’t be able to pick them out from students who spent their whole lives in the US speaking English. In fact you have probably never heard the term.
Who is Generation 1.5? The term is used to describe students who are neither first nor second generation immigrants - hence, 1.5. They live somewhere between those two traditional terms and have a broad range of characteristics.
Generation 1.5 students could have been born here, but do not speak English at home with their parents. They might have moved to the US some time during the K-12 system from a non-English speaking country, or may have moved here from US territories where they grew up speaking a different first language. Depending on when they moved to the US, Generation 1.5ers may have limited literacy in their first language and also have limited English, especially for academic purposes. Again it depends on their education and cultural background, not to mention their home life.
In the video below, a student talks about how Generation 1.5 students feel lost between two cultures, not really belonging to either of them. (This is a conversation I’ve had in the past with so many Generation 1.5 students and clearly his classmates agree with him, judging by the finger snapping in the background.)
Meet Jose Puzon, from the Philippines who works as a dialysis technician.
Jose Puzon is from the Philippines and decided to train as a dialysis technician, deeply moved by the death of his grandmother from kidney failure and inspired by his cousin who was working in the field. He wanted to help others like his grandmother, and after the training he describes in this interview, he is now working at San Francisco General Hospital.