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    Posted June 9, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Student voices in journalism

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    An Eye-Opening Experience By: Nsidie Udoh and Mariamu Narugo

    To start off our summer, four chaperones and sixteen students including us, Mariamu Narugo and Nsidie Udoh, from KIPP Houston High School headed down to the Valley in South Texas for The Valley Project. The Valley Project is a summer community service experience that has been going on for the past four years and held by KIPP teachers as an opportunity for KIPP students to learn about migrant farm workers. Migrant farm workers are modern day “nomads” who pick crop through the harshest of conditions in exchange for money. Being a migrant farm worker requires intense labor for extremely low pay which is one of the things Cesar Chavez fought for. In South Texas, the will of the people that Cesar Chavez stood for is well demonstrated by their persistence in their everyday task. After two hours of working alongside the people we met here in Valley, us, Houston kids were exhausted and had no motivation or strength to continue. Reflecting on what seemed to be the two most excruciating hours to us and comparing it to extensive hours that the migrant workers work every day causes us to realize how fortunate we are. On our trip down to the Valley we did expect to see poverty, crime, and immigrants based on the prior knowledge and research we were required to do about the Valley. What we didn’t expect to see is the passion, enthusiasm, and ambition of the people here in the Valley. We found it difficult to believe that actual students our age have been migrant farm workers since the ages four and up, and due to their lifestyle they didn’t have the same stable education we have been provided . What’s amazing in all of this is now those with the motivation to go to school and break the generational chain of being a migrant farm worker, even more amazing is those who already have. Now with one day left on this trip, we both leave the Valley with respect for people who live here with the optimism and appreciation for life that we often take for granted. We do not cry for nor pity their lives here; instead we envy the strength and humility that unfortunately on our one week long trip to the Valley we will never be able to fully grasp. We want more than anything to allow this project to reach out to other high school students beyond KIPP and hopefully attract more awareness towards the growing movement of migrant workers. In closing we would like everyone to briefly take a moment to appreciate someone who has or is an impact to your own life and we encourage that everyone goes out into their community and help.
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