Using Art to Help Undocumented Students Become More Visible, On Their Own Terms

A Poet’s Powerful Example Inspired Immigrant Students in South L.A. to Dream Bigger

For three years, I was a high school English teacher at 103rd Street and Broadway, the southernmost tip of South Los Angeles, a stone’s throw west of Watts. Many Californians think of this as drive-over, landlocked, and lock-your-doors Los Angeles. But my students know this small patch, one of the lowest income zip codes in the county, as home.

There are approximately two million undocumented minors in the United States today, and if I were to guess, I’d say about 20 percent of my students were part of that population. …