High school teacher Jessica Lander ’10 explores how educators are making a difference in the lives of immigrant students


Jessica Lander '10                                                                             

Julián Viviescas Mejía                                                                          


Jessica Lander was sitting in her classroom at Lowell High School in Massachusetts one day when a gangly student named Wilson asked to eat lunch with her. The teenager, who had recently moved from Puerto Rico, didn’t feel he had anywhere at the school where he really belonged. Soon, Wilson ate with her every day — then something remarkable happened. As Lander relates in the introduction to her new book, Making Americans: Stories of Historic Struggles, New Ideas, and Inspiration in Immigrant Education (Beacon Press), other students started joining the makeshift lunch club — hailing from such countries as Vietnam, Yemen, Iraq, and Liberia — until her classroom was a veritable United Nations cafeteria.

Read the full story in PAW