Students from the Touro College Graduate School of Social Work, and Professor Jennifer Zelnick (pictured, front row), went to Albany, N.Y., recently to lobby legislators on the New York state “Dream Act” – legislation that would extend public and private funding for higher education to undocumented New York City high school students who were brought to the United States as children.
The Touro social work students were part of a group of over 160 social work students and faculty from schools around the state who appealed to their representatives as part of the New York State Social Work Education Association Lobby Day.
“Social work practitioners, educators and students support the New York State Dream Act because of the economic and social value that higher education brings to individuals and families, communities, and the city as a whole,” said Professor Zelnick. “We believe that instead of punishing undocumented students for their parents’ actions, high-achieving immigrant students should be supported in their dreams and aspirations.”
Added Steven Huberman, Ph.D., founding dean of the school: “This trip reflects our commitment to social justice. Many of our students are from immigrant families and are first-generation Americans. They know firsthand that they can help the most vulnerable and those most at-risk in New York. We want to extend that same opportunity to help others, to all newcomers to America.”
Students, pictured in top row, left to right, are Evangeline Willis, Aris Johnson, Remercia Dieubon, Stephen Lande, and Courtney Wilson. Pictured in middle row, left to right, are Annalene Antonio, Rosa Diaz, Iris Ubidia, and Serena (Sima) Polatoff.