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. 

Four volumes are available today. Listen here or below:

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. 

Ever since receiving her green card hours before the travel ban in 2017, Sarah is able to navigate between two worlds. With her residency card and on a path for citizenship, she can still visit family left behind in Iran while residing in the U.S. Working as a pediatrician in Iran for over 25 years, Sarah witnessed the cultural/religious revolution that set her beloved country back 1000 years. She dons the hajib when she arrives in Iran and then sheds it once she puts her feet back on U.S soil. A lifetime learner, Sarah has reached a fluency in English that is remarkable. Even though she considers herself retired from the work world, her thirst for knowledge never stops. During the pandemic, she enrolled in various online courses in everything from English to yoga. Libraries, community centers, whatever is available to learn more, Sarah steps up to the task. A lover of music, she hopes to learn how to play the santur, the Iranian instrument you hear in the background.
  1. Sarah from Iran
  2. Geraldo from Brazil
  3. Yenny from Venezuela
  4. Adriane from Brazil
  5. Soe Soe from Myanmar (Burma)
  6. Blanca from Guatemala
  7. Silvia from Honduras
  8. Gloria from Brazil
  9. Lelys from Venezuela
  10. Valtecir from Brazil