Last fall, Amy Arias, a student at Erwin High School, and Josue Lomeli-Garcia, a student at Asheville High School, worked at Erwin Middle School through United Way of Buncombe County's Middle School Success Initiative, as part of their senior project.
“Both Arias and Lomeli-Garcia wanted to work with immigrant, minority students of color, because they hold the same identity, and see the barriers their peers and friends need to summit in order to be successful,” said Resource Coordinator for Erwin Middle, Linnea B.
“They assisted the Erwin Middle School Success team with all-inclusive diversity events as well as ran trainings for our immigrant student ambassadors. They know, and remember clearly, the importance of connecting with and supporting students in the vital years of middle school. We are honored to have these two young people working in our community!"
Linnea sat down with the students and asked them some questions about their experience.
What is your favorite class/subject in school?
Josue: Social Studies/History
Amy: My favorite class or subject in school has definitely always been English and chorus.
What have your intentions been with your senior project?
Josue: For my senior project, I wanted to provide assistance to the minority population of the Erwin district.
Amy: For my senior project, I really wanted to bring awareness to the issue of immigrant students (DREAMers and un-documented students) having access to higher education because most of the time it is either ignored or overlooked in high schools. Many people do not even know this is an issue in our community and country.
What do you hope to do after graduation and in college?
Josue: Attend a four year university (hopefully UNC-Chapel Hill) and major in Economics. Travel the world.
Amy: I am really hoping to attend a good four year university and pursue a career as an immigration lawyer or a teacher.
What do you wish you’d known in middle school as a middle schooler?
Josue: Middle School relationships don't work J Enjoy your time in Middle School because it only gets harder. Also, learn as much as you can about high-school before you get there!
Amy: I wish I would have been a little bit more prepared for high school.
What do you love about the Erwin district?
Josue: What I love about the Erwin district is that I see the passion and strong commitment the faculty possesses towards student achievement.
Amy: What I love about this district is the diversity and, of course, the teachers, who are really dedicated and make huge impacts on their students’ lives.
Even though their senior projects are done, Amy and Josue will be helping with Erwin Middle’s first “College Night” where students and their families will get information about services offered in high-school and how to pursue college; continuing the road to access and success for all in the Erwin community.
To learn more about the Middle School Success Initiative, visit unitedwayabc.org/middle-school-success.