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. 

With poor job prospects, and feeling unsafe in her native country, Adriane decided to leave Brazil and follow her mother and brother to the states in 2003. Crossing the border from Mexico into Texas proved a challenge, especially the last three days without food and water, a place to sleep, and only a trash bag to keep her dry during a major downpour. Crowded in a van with 11 other Brazilians she made her way to Boston in borrowed men’s clothing—her height demanded it—and she fell into the arms of her mother who had sold her car to finance her daughter’s trip. A dishwasher by day at Legal Seafoods, Adriane would return at night to clean the restaurant. From there housekeeping jobs began. Today in business for herself, Adriane has more than 30 loyal customers —a thriving business that employs several workers. In 2019 Adriane became a U.S. Citizen and is a proud and grateful American.        
  1. Adriane from Brazil
  2. Soe Soe from Myanmar (Burma)
  3. Blanca from Guatemala
  4. Silvia from Honduras
  5. Gloria from Brazil
  6. Lelys from Venezuela
  7. Valtecir from Brazil
  8. Connie from Colombia
  9. Hermelinda from Peru
  10. Adson from Brazil

Transcripts