Breaking Down the Wall: Immigration

By Aila Durakovic, Social Media Editor

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On Thursday, Nov. 7th, through periods 5-7, four guest speakers were brought into the black box theater to inform the community about immigration. Senior DECA members Katarina Kraljevic and Adem Memidzan presented questions for the speakers and let them educate the audience. A great turnout of students, educators, and parents attended to learn something new and possibly relate to the topic.

Over the summer, Kraljevic and Memidzan teamed up to take on a community awareness project focusing on immigration in the United States. The pair both come from immigrant families and found that raising awareness over a stigma that affects them on the daily was a necessity.

“We chose our speakers through recommendations from our teachers and mentors,” Kraljevic said. “We knew that Senator Laura Fine and Ram Villivalam worked on bills regarding immigration, therefore; we knew they were well informed about the subject. Immigration lawyer Alen Takhsh connects and helps immigrants everyday through his legal process, and Bushra Amiwala supported many organizations that help immigrants so we knew they were also perfect candidates.”

Taking charge of setting up an event like this is not an easy task. It was definitely a stressful process, but the team figured out how to manage and maintain everything to the best of their abilities along the way.

“The most stressful part had to be organizing the logistics and securing the speakers,” Memidzan said. “I can’t even tell you how many emails I sent out and people I called in order to have the assembly run as smoothly as it did. It all ended up being worth it in the end.”

The main goal of this presentation was to bring awareness upon immigration.

“The speakers talked about the economic and social impacts that immigrants have in our country as well as the journey immigrants take to come to the United States and the stigmas they’re  subjected to,” Memidzan said. “All of their responses were so inspiring and really left both the adults and students with a lot to think about”

With all the work put into the event, it definitely paid off according to the student body’s feedback. Senior Josh Chis was very engaged throughout the entire conversation and enjoyed listening to new perspectives.

“I decided to go to the panel because I come from immigrant parents and wanted to connect my experience with the speakers,” Chis said. “I really liked it since I was able to learn a lot about a new perspective on immigration and how it has affected people in different careers.”

With the entire process being hectic and pressuring, there was no better feeling for Kraljevic than watching everything proceed and fall into place so smoothly.

“My favorite part was just seeing our entire event in action. The amount of emails and meetings we had to do in order to make this happen was crazy, but seeing it happen and receiving such great feedback from multiple peers makes me beyond happy,” Kraljevic said.

With all the emails, meetings, calls, and planning that has been put in since this summer, it’s safe to say this DECA team made quite the impact.