High School Migrant Students, Migrant Education Program (MEP) Staff
Elmer and Osvin are two high school students originally from Huehuetenango, Guatemala where they left behind large families. Although they are only a few months apart in age, Elmer is Osvin’s uncle and they both began school in the United States in the 9th grade. The boys came to the US with nothing: no money, home, vehicle or family. However, what they did come with was big dreams, hope, and a lot of determination to make their move mean something to themselves, their families at home and their community.
The fact that these students did not have anything when they arrived in the US did not stop them. They were determined to start school, work, and someday go to college. In the summer of 2013, Elmer and Osvin were recruited into the Migrant Education Program where they found academic, social and emotional support. By meeting with their Student Support Specialist, attending after school and summer programs, participating in college visits and MEP district meetings, these two students were able to find the support they needed to help make their dreams a reality.
Elmer and Osvin's journey has not been easy. In addition to working and supporting themselves financially, they also send money to their families in Guatemala in order to help provide for their basic needs. While in the United States, these two boys have been able to successfully obtain their permanent residency and driver’s licenses, and they have made many friends and social connections. Additionally, the boys have made full use of the resources around them in order to learn English and have made time to give back to their community by volunteering in local organizations such as a community clothing and food bank where they help pack and load supplies for families in need. Because they were able to set and achieve goals for volunteer service, personal development and physical fitness, they were both awarded the Bronze Congressional Award by Congressman Brendan Boyle at Temple University in April 2016. Osvin was recently inducted into the National Technical Honor Society. Even though they do not have a lot of free time because of their busy school and work schedules, they have been able to take short trips to visit such places as New York City, Philadelphia and Rehoboth Beach.
In May of 2017, Elmer and Osvin will finally see their dreams come true as they graduate from high school. However, this is not where their story ends. Elmer has accepted the offer to attend Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and Osvin is planning to work and take business courses at Delaware County Community College.
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Chief, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education
Phone: (717) 783-6466