Newsday Features Whitman Students

Whitman teachers Eileen Berkowitz and Tatiana Jordan with their exceptional students at the LI Dreamers Conference, on Friday, October 14, at Nassau Community College.
Whitman teachers Eileen Berkowitz and Tatiana Jordan with their exceptional students at the LI Dreamers Conference, on Friday, October 14, at Nassau Community College.

At the recently held LI Dreamers Conference at Nassau Community College, eighteen Walt Whitman students, as well as students from many other high schools across Long Island, gathered for a day of panel discussions on a variety of issues like access to education, immigration and others. The LI Dreamers Conference is an annual gathering for high school and college immigrant students from across Long Island.

This conference equips attendees with the skills needed to reach and succeed in college. Students have the opportunity to interact with college professors, current college students, expert speakers, and nationally well-known ‘Dreamers’ who have achieved their college goals and are now national leaders advocating for immigrant rights.

Keynote speaker Dr. Harold Fernandez encouraged our students to work hard to fulfill their dreams.  “The reason I’m here today is to let you know that you are special,” Fernandez said [in a Newsday interview by reporter/writer Victor Manuel Ramos.] “Be confident . . . Don’t let anybody tell you that because you are Hispanic, or you are African American, or you have another religion, that you can’t be at the top of your game.”

Two of Whitman’s students, Geysel Ramos Vasquez and Sindy Alfaro Ortez asked questions of the keynote speaker, and for doing so in front of a packed auditorium got signed copies of his autobiography ‘Undocumented.’ The two were interviewed by Newsday reporter Victor Manuel Ramos and are featured in his article using the following link: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/immigrants-at-conference-advised-don-t-sell-yourselves-short-1.12456509

Dreamers left the conference armed with the tools needed to be personally successful and eager to share these skills with their peers. Congratulations to our exceptional Walt Whitman students, you make South Huntington Proud!