Career Day at Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy in Cleveland Ohio
On Friday May 1st, Mr. Gordon Landefeld and ourselves, both from Margaret W. Wong and Associates, represented our office at Career Day at the International Newcomers Academy (INA) at Thomas Jefferson on West 46th Street in Cleveland. Mr. Landefeld also invited his friend and associate, Mr. Cesar Sandoval, a businessperson who owns the on-line company "EthnicQuest" to take part which he gladly did. From 9am to 11am Mr. Landefeld and ourselves met with 4 groups of multinational students and told them about the immigration-related work that Margaret W. Wong and Associates does and answered all kinds of questions. Mr. Sandoval was assigned to his own room where he talked to his students about his origins as an immigrant from Mexico, what "EthnicQuest" does, and what they should do to prepare themselves in a career in business.
Prior to being assigned to our rooms, the three of us (as well as other professionals that were there for Career Day) met with Ms. Natividad Pagan, Principal; Ms. Marisol Burgos, Assistant Principal; and Ms. Maria Bozak, Guidance Counselor, who told us all about the INA whose purpose is "to provide students who are pre-functional/beginners in English opportunities to accelerate the acquisition of the new language and to acclimate to the new culture and school district, by providing English language immersion experiences in a structured sheltered learning environment, by highly qualified certified instructional staff." Currently over 600 students, grades Pre-K to 12th, attend school there. Ms. Pagan estimated that these students come from 20 different countries and speak 13 different languages.
At the beginning of each of our four sessions we talked to each of the students to see what language they were most comfortable with and then tried to give then the appropriate literature from Margaret W. Wong and Associates. Mr. Landefeld then gave each student a little red envelope and explained that in the Asian culture this signified the gift of prosperity. During each session Mr. Landefeld showed the students several ethnic newspapers available in Cleveland and urged the students to seek these or other such newspapers out if they wanted to study current affairs in both Cleveland and abroad (Profile News - Arab-American; Erie Chinese News - Chinese-American; La Prensa - Hispanic-American; and Russian Magazine - Russian-American).
Among the questions that the students asked us were what was the difference between a refugee and an immigrant; what should be one's course of study to become an immigration attorney; what is the procedure is to come here from Puerto Rico; and how can one without much money legally obtain a visa or a green card. Mr. Landefeld also had a good exchange with a young man who came here from Nepal and wanted to know how he could legally return home to see old friends and families before he became a U.S. citizen. In addition, Mr. Landefeld talked about what it was like to work at our office and encouraged the students to check out our multi-language websites (Our Spanish site at www.imwongespanol.com, and www.cimwong.com).
The three of us; Mr. Landefeld, Mr. Sandoval, and ourselves; all agreed that our morning at the INA was very productive for the students as well for ourselves. We all felt lucky to have such a genuine jewel of a school in our community. Before we left we were all given Certificates of Appreciation for our participation in Career Day.