Immigrant Voices Project

One of our strongest tools for fostering acceptance and empathy, and for bridging cultures and people, is storytelling. That’s why we’re thrilled to share the Immigrant Voices Podcast Project.


finalpodcastivppThe Immigrant Voices Podcast Project features interviews with our very own GPA ESOL community members, who have courageously made the U.S. their home. In their own words, they describe the lives and people they left behind in their native countries, their journeys here, and the struggles and successes they have experienced along the way. Our guests are parents of dreamers, dreamers themselves, and undocumented to naturalized citizens – each with a singular experience and perspective of life in the U.S. as an immigrant. 

The first volume is available today and contains three episodes:

Episode 1: Nicolasa reflects on the long, difficult journey she traveled to pursue an education after emigrating from the Dominican Republic at the age of 18. Today, she holds a master’s in education and provides technology support to over 100 immigrant families in Boston.

Episode 2: Perla, who came to the U.S. from Guatemala at a very young age, shares how her hard-working family persevered to build a secure home here – despite the ever-present threat of deportation. Now a DACA recipient, Perla uses her master’s in social work to help other immigrant families.

Episode 3: Adson tells of the culture shock he and his wife Aleide experienced after leaving behind their family, friends, and careers in Brazil. As a concert coordinator, journalist, and musician in his native country, he found himself suddenly painting houses in Boston. Yet, he adapted. A successful entrepreneur, Adson now owns his own home improvement company.

From 10 years of students, teachers, and volunteers who form part of the growing community at the Gardner Adult Education ESOL Program, our Immigrant Voices podcasts will feature their journeys to the U.S., the people our immigrant guests have left behind in their native countries, and the actions they have taken to make Boston their new home. Conversations will touch on their struggles, successes, and dreams for the future. We will also invite our guests to comment on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their lives and livelihoods. Participants will range from parents of “dreamers,” “dreamers” themselves, undocumented to naturalized citizens, and everything in between. 

Once their daughters were enrolled in University in Brazil, Adson and his wife Aleide, left behind their careers to live life abroad. Culture shock hit hard. Not just the language and the food, but the snow and a sudden career change made Adson’s adjustment tough. As a concert coordinator, journalist, and musician in his native country, he found himself suddenly painting houses in Boston. After years juggling work as a journalist for a local Brazilian paper and as a construction worker, (while amassing a collection of musical instruments —you can hear him playing the flute in the background of this introduction), Adson started his own home improvement company. As a successful entrepreneur, Adson has made New England his home. All those who know him are grateful that he stayed. 
  1. Adson from Brazil
  2. PERLA from Guatemala
  3. Nicolasa from the Dominican Republic

Podcast Transcripts