“I learn America” is a story telling project around a documentary following immigrants students from an international high school: they tell their stories and share the challenges they face as immigrants and english learners in the US. The documentary serves a a springboard to spark conversations among youth and inspire them to tell their own stories. This spring, a cohort of 5 FHLP students were trained by Jean Michel Dissard, the movie’s director, to engage virtually with their peers and harness their personal journeys (present, past and future) to make sense of themselves, while finding time to share laughs and joy despite these uncertain times. The Fellowship helps develop participants’ voice and leadership skills they will take back to their school/community to foster empathy, build supportive mentoring relationships, and take culturally responsive community action.
The trained “ILA Fellows” have been facilitating highly interactive storytelling and sharing workshops for FHLP students from 5 different schools. Every week, for an hour and a half, they came together and address issues that matters to them in their own words and perspective while using and practicing their French language, through writing, video, and other creative means.