For Immigrants, the Road to Mainstream America Starts in School

Olympia Kingdom and her father had a debate as she went to college. Kingdom Ezenwa, a pharmacy technician who emigrated from Nigeria in 2001 with his wife and children, wanted his oldest daughter to become a pharmacist. She wanted to teach. Olympia won out. The University of North Texas at Dallas graduate, who came to the United States at age five, will start teaching in the Grand Prairie school district this fall. This is the type of fight that families should have: Parents discussing paths for their children, and their children developing visions of their own. We should remember these discussions occur in families new to America, too. The heated debate over immigration can obscure the fact that families like the Kingdoms want to become part of their new country. "Going to college felt like a big responsibility," Olympia told me over coffee one day this spring at UNT-Dallas. "I was the first in my family to go. I was happy to go. It was for the greater good."Olympia's college path was certainly good for her and her family. She hopes her younger sister will follow her lead. And her success is equally good for our nation.   Continue reading...

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