The English-Speaking Union

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ARNIC Virtual Town Hall Meeting: Alumni Voices -- Stories of Success

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Since opening its doors, ARNIC has served almost 2,000 newly arrived immigrants. At our latest virtual town hall meeting, five program alumni shared their stories with current ARNIC members. The five alumni took part in a panel discussion and spoke about how they have overcome barriers and found success in the U.S. The panelists gave advice to current ARNIC members and inspired them to look ahead confidently to the future.

The event was an opportunity to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, which takes place every June and recognizes the contributions immigrants make to U.S. society. 

The alumni panel reflected the vibrant diversity of the ARNIC program. Panelists included: 

  • Maria González, an architect from Colombia with plans to pursue a master's degree in public policy 

  • Maddalena Maltese, a journalist from Italy who is the part-time Director of Communications at Religions for Peace International 

  • Dieudonné Ndje Bayi Seh, an accountant and poet from Cameroon who is currently studying at Borough of Manhattan Community College

  • Dipika Shrestha, a radio journalist and podcaster from Nepal who recently completed a master's degree in international affairs at Baruch College

  • Henry Torres, an engineer from Venezuela who now works in his field at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

At the close of the meeting, current ARNIC member Miguel Canelon read his written piece, "Farewell and Welcome." This work was selected for publication in the NYU Literacy Review, a journal of writing from ESL students throughout New York City.

During Immigrant Heritage Month, we celebrate the success of all of our ARNIC members and alumni. We will continue to encourage alumni to share their stories at future town hall meetings.

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