102: How to Advocate for Undocumented Students

HERE ARE THE PRACTICAL GUIDES THAT THIS PODCAST INSPIRED

SHOW NOTES

In this episode, which is Part 2 of 2, I speak with veteran counselor Dr. Aliza Gilbert about how counselors and teachers can best advocate for undocumented youth. And who better to discuss this with than someone whose PhD examined how schools support (or fail to support) undocumented students. In our conversation, I learned, among other things, how even “wonderful and caring” teachers can go wrong when it comes to undocumented students and how it’s not only about how much you care, but also about how much you know. 

You’ll also hear:

  • A quick primer on terms to use (and not use) when working with undocumented students
  • What the Dream Act is and why not all students love the term “Dreamers”
  • What percent of kids born right now are born to undocumented parents
  • Whether or not students should reveal their undocumented status in their personal statement
  • How incorrect assumptions can sometimes make a student feel horrible
  • How to know if a school (or a state, for that matter) is/isn’t supportive of undocumented students
  • What teachers/mentors/counselors can do to help undocumented youth

Also be sure to check out the resources that accompany the post, including: 

You’ll also find a recording in Spanish of a resource called “6 Cosas Que los Estudiantes Indocumentados Necesitan Saber Sobre la Universidad” (6 Things Undocumented Students Need to Know About College), which was published by the CollegeBoard, and my reading of it, in case you’d like to share it with parents. 

PLAY-BY-PLAY

What the show’s about [0:57]
Interview begins: [3:18]
What are the Colleges That Change Lives and why should people know about them? [3:53]
Whether or not high schools are currently doing a good job advocating for undocumented students [5:53]
A quick primer on terms to use (and not use) when working with undocumented students [6:35]
What the Dream Act is and why not all students love the term “Dreamers” [4:28]
Common misconceptions about undocumented students [9:12]
Why is this such a big deal right now? [11:15]
What percent of kids born right now are born to undocumented parents [12:27]
Unique counseling challenges when it comes to working with undocumented students  [13:22]
Should students reveal their undocumented status in their personal statement? [16:22]
The “Undocumented and unafraid” campaign [17:45]
How counselors can advocate for undocumented youth [19:44]
Where “wonderful and caring and loving” teachers go wrong when it comes to undocumented students 27:50
What teachers/mentors/counselors can do to help undocumented youth [29:05]
How incorrect assumptions can make a student feel horrible… and what they can do instead [31:02]
How to know if a school (or a state) is/isn’t supportive of undocumented students [34:36]
Dr. Gilbert’s advice to undocumented students [38:43]
Show & Tell (Dr. Gilbert): the IACAC College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students -- a “one stop shop” for resources for undocumented students and their advocates [39:07]
Show & Tell (Ethan): I'm First! Guide to College
Some colleges claim to meet 100% full financial need, but how does this apply to undocumented students? [44:48]
Questions Undocumented Students Should Ask Colleges [48:57]
Examples of students advocating for other students [51:40]
Dr. Gilbert’s final piece of advice for high school teachers and counselors [54:37]

Links Mentioned in the Podcast

Resources