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Visibles: Derek Cuevas, 17, feels N.H.'s immigrant community needs better language access

Gaby Lozada
/
NHPR

Derek Cuevas is a young Dominican who enjoys his new life in the United States, although sometimes he finds the culture unusual. He spent his senior year as a Spanish-speaking ambassador at Central High School in Manchester. He helped newly arrived Latino youth adjust to the school system by translating what teachers and counselors said.

He says he wants to see this program expand to include more languages spoken in the school district, like Portuguese, Swahili and French.

“I was very lucky that there were people who helped me initially, but there are people who speak another language besides Spanish, and nobody can help them because there are no translators,” said Derek.

Read this story in Spanish here.

DEREK CUEVAS_INGLES.mp4

Now that he’s graduated, Cuevas has his eyes on going to community college. Although he fears that his dream will not come true, he works hard to do it. His family is supporting him in finding a way to go.

He wants to study computer science and innovation, a career he inherited from his mother. Another option is to learn electronics. He says that he has liked to disassemble computers and any device that fell into his hand since he was a child.

This summer, he’s looking forward to when his father, who lives in the Dominican Republic, visits him for the first time in the United States.

This is episode 17. To listen to all episodes, click here.

Gabriela Lozada is a Report for America corps member. Her focus is on Latinx community with original reporting done in Spanish for ¿Qué hay de Nuevo NH?.
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