Bridging Cultures & Creating Community

Newcomer Academy Podcast hosts Rene and Michelle

Estación Latina Hosts Michelle and René

The Barrow County Newcomer Academy's student-led, Spanish Podcast about Latin culture and experiences focused on bridging cultures and creating community. The Newcomer Academy serves high school students who are new to the United States with limited English proficiency.

Estación Latina is a Spanish-language podcast hosted by brother and sister duo, René and Michelle. René and Michelle are Newcomers from Venezuela. Each episode featured guests and topics exploring Latino culture in our community.

Newcomer Academy teacher Amy Wilson and Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy teacher Paul Thornton helped produce and facilitate the podcast. Ms. Wilson says, "A large part of what we do at the Newcomer Academy is encourage our students to share their unique stories with us and with each other so that we can connect, learn from one another, celebrate each person’s unique experiences, and share these amazing stories with our Barrow Bold Community. Estación Latina allows us to bring the inspiring stories from our community to us! At the Newcomer Academy, we believe that storytelling unites us as human beings and that when we take the time to share our stories as well as listen to the stories of others, we recognize our common humanity while creating a sense of community."

Barrow County School System (BCSS) School Social Worker and podcast guest Laura Etheridge says, "It was an immense pleasure to be able to be part of Estación Latina. I was able to share part of my story on what drove me to become a social worker. It was raw, unedited and vulnerable. It was important for me to share my story because I will always be proud of my roots as a daughter of Mexican immigrant parents. I hope my story inspires those who have a chance to listen to it."

BCSS Family Engagement Specialist and podcast guest Ramon Manzo says, "It was an honor to participate in this podcast. I was able to share a little bit about my story, my struggles, and about how hard work can lead to achieving your goals. I hope that what I shared during the podcast can inspire people who may be facing similar situations. Working with René and Michelle was a blast! They were very professional, and were able to create a very welcoming and friendly environment. Overall it was an amazing experience!"

The first show aired on Feb. 7. The last episode for the Spring 2023 semester was broadcast in front of a live audience and featured a celebration of all the guests and topics discussed. The teachers plan to continue the podcast with their future Newcomer Academy classes. René and Michelle are participating in Work-Based Learning next school year at the Newcomer Academy to continue creating episodes.


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