Migrant Students Learn About History, Democracy in Capital

A group of migrant students from HISD schools traveled to Washington, D.C., recently to learn more about the United States and their role in democracy, thanks to Migrant Education Program federal funds (Title 1, Part C).

The six HISD students who participated were selected by the Migrant Education Program on the basis of their grades, attendance, an essay they submitted, and an interview. Steven Arteaga (Sharpstown HS), Andres Cendejas (Bellaire HS), Judith Guerrero (Sterling HS), Roxana Ramirez (Jordan HS), Keishla Rosales (Bellaire HS), and Jessica Vera (Madison HS) spent nearly a week attending workshops, visiting museums and monuments, enjoying performances, debating topics during a mock Congressional activity, and speaking with members of Congress.

“Going to Washington, D.C., was a whole new, different experience,” Arteaga said. “I’ve never been out of Texas, so it was pretty awesome. I loved every part of it, from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the first day to the civil disobedience memorials that we went to.”

Guerrero said the trip changed her life. “It gave us a chance to interact with different people from the United States,” she said. “We got to share where we were from and our differences about some subjects that were mentioned. Never did I think that this trip would bring many of us so close. They day we had to say our last goodbyes didn’t really feel like a goodbye, but like a new beginning. This helped change our lives politically and socially.”

The Migrant Education Program helps HISD’s more than 650 migrant students overcome the challenges of mobility, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, and other difficulties associated with a migratory lifestyle. In order for a student to qualify for migrant services, one of the child’s parents/guardians has to be a migratory agricultural worker or fisher and have moved across school district or state lines within the last 36 months. The migratory worker must also obtain or seek temporary or seasonal employment in his or her industry.

To see if your child qualifies for assistance through the district’s Migrant Education Program, please visit the program’s website or call 713-556-6961.