Last year, Newark Science Park High School worked with Ramapo College of NJ to help 27 students tell their amazing personal stories in The Helpers, a collection of student memoirs centered around experiences of resilience and gratitude. In these stories, students share how they have healed themselves, seized power from the world, and have changed, grown, and self-actualized through their writing.
Now, we would like to help share stories of a new group of students from across the entire city. This new book, called WE WERE STRANGERS ONCE, TOO, will tell the immigrant stories of America as only our diverse population can.
Select students will once again be able to workshop with narrative writing experts, as well as see their work published in a book available on Amazon. They will be celebrated across the district and honored in a reception in the spring. This published work will be shared for generations, with all money earned going directly back to the student authors.
Do you have a specific narrative about you or your family's immigrant experience, your travel to America, your family’s heritage and how it has changed your view of the world, your adjustment to new environments, or the ways in which you keep your culture alive?
Submit your story today and you could be chosen for publication! We are looking for first-hand, in the moment narratives of change - stories of specific times that relate to our experiences of immigration.
The best stories will focus on specific incidents rather than a simple list of things that happened. This is NOT a college application essay, but a focus on a specific time in your life you changed - with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Stories chosen will have a narrative arc in which readers can witness the transformation of our students.
"Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger -- we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too."
President Barack Obama, November 20, 2014