Ross School - Senior Project
Mentor: Carrie Clark
Title: Our Presence Makes A Difference
My project is about recognizing the accomplishments of
Latinos and changing the perception of the stereotypical Latino. I chose my
project because I was brought up with a family who holds their beliefs and
their culture close to them, and believes that we as Latinos should be role
models and help enhance the community around us. I gained knowledge on how to
interview people, learned how to publish a book, and I now understand that
there is more than one class of an ethnic group.
Interviews (Esperanza, Arturo, Carlos,
Photos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
I started my presentation on my ideas for senior
project. I talked about my first idea, which was global warming. I changed the idea
of global warming because I didnÕt have a pre-requisite class for film and
could not make film. So I choose Latinos because my mom told me to find a topic
that was personal to me. At first I choose to focus on Latinos who can vote in
my community for the election, but my idea was to late for election
registration and I choose to perceive Latinos in a different light then how
they are perceived on the East End. Then I talked about why I did this project.
The reason I did this project was because both my parents are Colombian and
have told me from a young age that your ethnicity is something you should be
proud of and hold on to dearly. Also from a young age I didnÕt care much about
my Latino ethnicity but now that I have traveled to Colombia several times I noticed
that your ethnicity is something you should be proud of and treasure. Also I
took French for a couple of years and am taking Chinese at the moment so I know
that being exposed to different cultures has enriched my life. Then I gave an
elaborate description of my project and what I was trying to convey. My book
profiled the stories of Latinos who are considered successful and successfully
integrate themselves in this country economically, professionally, and
socially. My project is to go past the stereotypes of Latinos on the East End
and really give people in inside look to the Latino group you donÕt see
everyday. The HamptonÕs is considered a resort place in the summer but the
whole year in the HamptonÕs is full of Latinos who have been immigrating to
Long Island during the last decade. Their presence has created a negative image
about the Latino community such as they are all illegal, uneducated, and
harmful to society. My next slide was on the process of my book and the end
product. Then the next couple of slides were photos of the inside of my book
and my interview questions. The purpose of my interview was to find their views
on how Latinos can become successful in todayÕs world. I gained this
information by focusing on their accomplishments how they did it and how they
see themselves. I also focused on how they see themselves in relevance to
Latino community. First I had to research immigration history through, which I
was able to recognize the importance of immigration since immigrants built the
U.S. After I acquired this information I focused on the fairly recent
immigration of Latinos. After this part was done. Mrs. Booth gave me websites
that taught people how to conduct interviews. Without out these articles I
would not have been able to come up with appropriate questions for my interview
After I was done drafting the questions I had to research the people I wanted
to interview and that fit my criteria. My criteria was to find successful
Latinos in different professions so that I could get different perspectives on
becoming successful in the Latino community. Luckily Mrs. Sepulveda was able to
assist me and provide me with contacts. After I was done with my Interviews I
had to transcribe my interviews and this was the most annoying process of my
project. Transcribing is making a full written or typewritten copy of something
and in my case I transcribed tapes. After many drafts I now have 10
copies of my book. My book has a page on why I choose this project, immigration
history in the U.S., Immigration on Latinos in the U.S. and Essay on the
interviewees. If you have time you can check my book upstairs in the Library.
The next slide was on my interview process. My interviews were a big challenge
in the beginning but I have to say that this was a great learning experience.
While going to interview people I had to be prepared with all my questions. I
had to be on time, which was pretty hard considering IÕve always been late to
every class if you ask my teachers. By doing interviews with different people I
learned that appearance is key in making a first impression. While doing
interviews I would ask follow-up questions because Mrs. Booth and many sites
advised me that follow-up questions lead to examples, which was key in my
essays and interviewing. Once I was done with my interviews I sent thank you
cards and will send my book to my interviewees as well. Then I talked about my
goals for my project. At first I had no goal of becoming a better writer but
Mrs. Booth my outside consultant said there was not a lot of detailed books
about Latinos. So my goal was to make a book. Another goal was to become a
successful writer. I wanted my book to be about personal experiences of
successful Latinos. So I interviewed many people. At first my goal was to interview
10 subjects but I only got 7 interviewees. While doing interviews I wanted to
achieve how to conduct interview. I also wanted to communicate a positive
message of ethnicity and learn about the history of immigration. The last goal
I wanted to accomplish was to talk in front of an audience like I am doing
today. The next slide was on the problems and challenges I had to overcome. As
I said earlier I was not the greatest writer. So writing was a big challenge
especially with revising one paper 5 times just to make it perfect. I kept
writing everyday just to become a successful writer. Another challenge I had
was calling my interviewees and getting appointments because some of my
interviewees lived in Patchogue but luckily my mother would make time for me to
drive me to these places. Also I had to be persistent to get in contact with my
interviewees. Transcribing was a big challenge because I would have to rewind
the tapes many times just to get am important phrase or important fact that I
needed for my essays. I couldnÕt come up with any other ways to transcribe
faster so I just had to be patient and listen to every word. As I said earlier
the idea of my Senior Project was 2 weeks late so I had to play catch-up with
all the other seniors which meant I would stay home on weekends and miss school
a couple of days to get interviews. At the end of my project I had to print my
book but my SIM card for my camera was not showing the pictures on my computer
so I could not get the final photos on blurb. Blurb is a site that shows you
the layout for your book and prints it. I pretty much prayed for a day or
2 that the SIM card would work another day. It ended up not working so I
had to go back to some of the interviewees and get pictures. The slide on challenges
then lead me to the slide of how I achieved my goals. During my whole senior
project I gained the ability to print a book-using blurb but I would advise
future seniors not to use blurb because I did not get the layout I wanted for
my book, the program was very slow, and the program kept shutting off at random
times. By interviewing I gained the confidence to talk to people I had never
met. With this new confidence every interview became easier and for the last
interview I didnÕt bring the questions and memorized them by heart. The first
interview took around 2 hours and the last interview was 45 minutes and I
gained about the same information. I gained the ability to transcribe and by
writing about 40-to 50 drafts for all my papers. I gained a better ability to
write essays. Two big components to succeed for senior project would be
Organization and Time management. To my surprise these 2 components I did not
posses. Mrs. Clark my mentor would set up deadlines every meeting, which helped
my organizational skills. At one point since I was running out of time, I had
to leave drafts of essays in my mailbox and Mrs. Clark would correct them and
send them back. In my Senior Project I had to be persistent with my
interviewees so that I could set up a time. I gained a skill of communicating
with others by doing this. Also by the nagging of my mother I gained the
skill of figuring out the proper attire I had to wear for the different
interviewees. I learned that you gain respect by the way you look and interact
with others. Research was a big skill I gained. Mrs. Clark told me to
understand immigration in general and immigration to Latinos so that I could
understand the historical context of immigration. My final slide was how this
project has affected me with future decisions. With my book I hope to
demonstrate that education is really important for the betterment of an
individual in any society. For the purpose of my project the Latinos who have
been willing to work hard, pursue education, and obtain proficiency in the English
language have proofed that they can function productively at any level in this
society. This project has changed me in seeing that there are many ways of
helping your community. But at the moment I have not made a clear choice in
what field I will become a professional in because there is so many ways of
helping people in todayÕs society you just have to take every opportunity that
comes your way. I am also more appreciative of different cultures and take
notice the pros of all ethnic groups. Throughout my interviews with the various
successful Latinos One belief theyÕve all expressed was that being bilingual
helps in todayÕs world. At the moment I am studying Chinese and will be taking
a gap-year to do half a year in China. At first I was kind of hesitant about
this idea but now that I did this project it made me realize that the more
cultural diversities IÕm exposed to the more I can enrich my life and my
options for career path in the future. Finally at the end of this project I
realized that the responsibility of change and betterment of our community lies
within ourselves by working for my own future I will automatically be
benefiting the Latino community to which I belong.
Cala, Carlos. Our Presence Makes a Difference. Kenneth Pinillos.
6 Dec. 2008.
Alverenga,Elsy. Our Presence Makes a Difference. Kenneth
Pinillos. 11 Dec. 2008.
Fry, Richard. "Latinos Account for Half of U.S. Population
Grown Since 2000." Pew
Publications. 23 Oct. 2008: 1.
Goleas, Janet. "Illuminating Latin American Art." The
East Hampton Star. 30 Sept. 2008: 1.
Hicks, Jonathan P. "Candidates Use Conference to Court the
Hispanic Vote." The New York Times. 23 Mar. 1998: 1-2.
"immigration." American History. 2008. ABC-CLIO.
Viewed 17 Dec. 2008 <http://www.americanhistory.abc-clio.com>.
Katz, Carissa. Latinos Transform the Hamptons. June 2003.
Viewed 12 Nov. 2008. <http://www.thebrooklynrail.org/
Leon, Esperanza. Our Presence Makes a Difference. Kenneth
Pinillos. 23 Nov. 2008.
Maestre, Teresa. Our Presence Makes a Difference. Kenneth
Pinillos. 9 Dec. 2008.
Marcus, Dave. "Study: Immigrants add $10.6 billion a year to
LI economy ." The New York Times. 19 Oct. 2008: 1-2.
Mead, Julia C. "In Island's
Wealthiest Area, Backlash Against the Poorest." The New York Times.
23 Sept. 2003: 1-5.
Semple, Kirk. "A Somali Influx Unsettles Latino Meatpackers
." The New York Times. 16 Oct. 2008: 1-5.
Sepulveda, Isabel. Our Presence Makes a Difference. Kenneth
Pinillos. 20 Nov. 2008.
Serrano, Gladys. Our Presence Makes a Difference. Kenneth
Pinillos. 11 Dec. 2008
Spiegel, Meryl. "Hispanic Population Making Inroads on the
South Fork." The New York
Time. 25 Feb. 1996: 1-4.
"L.I. @ Work; The Changing Face of the Island's Labor Force The New
York Times. 14 Nov. 2004: 1-2.
Community Member (Details)
Sally Booth- Anthropologist