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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Isaias seeks his future

In The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America, Daniel Connolly follows Isaias Ramos in his final year of high school and the next two years. He’s a math star at his low-performing Memphis high school — and an undocumented immigrant. Will he go to college?

Although he passed a prestigious national calculus test as a junior and his counselors are pushing Harvard, Isaias has doubts. “Why should I go to college?” he asks. “Why? I mean everybody tells you to get a good job, right? But I think about a good job doing what? A college degree gives you the ability, but not the actual job. And I guess from my mindset I just don’t see college as being that important.”

Isaias considers working in the family house-painting business instead of college.

His parents don’t speak English. His finished the ninth grade, his father the sixth. “In many ways, Isaias is on his own,” writes Connolly.

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