In today’s talks of immigration reform, the topic of legal migrants finding their way in American society is often tabled for another day. But a huge part of the discourse needs not only be on finding ways to allow others into America in a legal manner, but on helping them navigate afterward. Patience Lehrman knows that.
Lehrman, national director of Project SHINE – or Students Helping in Naturalization and English – was recently awarded a Presidential Citizens Medal for her efforts with elderly immigrants, as Ali Watkins reports on P. 1.
Project SHINE was a product of Temple’s Nancy Henkin, founder and director of the university’s Intergenerational Center, more than 30 years ago. The fact that the program has extended to more than 30 states speaks to its impact and ability to connect with immigrants across both state borders and cultural differences.
The Temple News applauds Lehrman for her commitment and for her national recognition, and also extends its congratulations to all the workers with Project SHINE.
Through the efforts of Project SHINE, immigrants are offered assistance in the delicate balancing act of assimilating into American society without being forced to abandon their roots, and their languages.
Furthermore, we urge current Temple students to consider volunteering their time with an organization like Project SHINE. The effort won’t be in vain, as evidenced by 2012 alumnus Steve Calvarese.
At a school of such diversity as Temple’s, it’s imperative that we – as a collective – don’t fail to recognize the native cultures from which our families hail.
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