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Immigrant Tales

Raiders’ homelands come from across the globe

Dhruvi+Dalwaldi+%28India%29%2C+Jasmine+Juliano+%28Philippines%29+and+Leslie+Pulido+%28Mexico%29+represent+all+parts+of+the+globe.
Dhruvi Dalwaldi (India), Jasmine Juliano (Philippines) and Leslie Pulido (Mexico) represent all parts of the globe.

Dhruvi Dalwaldi (India), Jasmine Juliano (Philippines) and Leslie Pulido (Mexico) represent all parts of the globe.

By Roselyn Romero

By Roselyn Romero

Dhruvi Dalwaldi (India), Jasmine Juliano (Philippines) and Leslie Pulido (Mexico) represent all parts of the globe.

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Channel Islands is one of the most diverse campuses in the Oxnard Union High School District, with a melting pot of Mexican, Filipino, and other cultures. Within the Islands, there are a multitude of immigrants, many of whom managed to work their way up through perseverance and ambition.

Among these CI immigrants is Dhruvi Dalwadi, senior, who was born and raised in Gujarat, India, a state comprised of over 60 million people. At age 10, she immigrated to the U.S. with her parents and little brother.

“Most of my family lives in Los Angeles, and they wanted to sponsor us for citizenship,” said Dalwadi. “We wanted to better our family’s future by living in America.”

In the fifth grade, Dalwadi faced many challenges, including learning how to speak English. As a little girl, she went to English language tutoring for 4 hours every Saturday and kept a diary, in which she wrote fictional stories in English.

“I now know three languages: Gujarati, Hindi, and English,” she said.

Dalwadi was also severely bullied by her classmates, who would call her “ugly” for her racial background. It was because of these taunts that she did not grow up with many friends.

“I felt really intimidated and shy and I hated coming to school,” said Dalwadi. “I wanted to stay in my own bubble inside my house.”

Throughout high school, she sought assistance from Ms. Monica Adrian, who helped her improve her writing skills, and Ms. Mujde Pidduck, who brought Dalwadi out of her comfort zone through frequent Socratic seminars and presentations.

Dalwadi has been involved in Key Club, MESA, Academic Decathlon, and Leading the Youth. After high school, she plans on attending the University of California, Santa Barbara, as a mechanical engineering major and obtaining her master’s degree in biomedical engineering.

Another Raider immigrant is senior Leslie Pulido, who was born in Jalisco, Mexico. She arrived in the U.S. with her mother in 2010. Pulido’s older sister was already a U.S. citizen and wanted to sponsor her and their mother for citizenship.

“I was told that we were just coming to America for vacation,” she said, “but we ended up staying in the U.S.”

When she first lived in Oxnard at age 10, she struggled to learn English and was bullied for her accent.

“I would read the dictionary every night and practice my pronunciation,” said Pulido. “Eventually I was forced to be fluent in English when I moved to Greenfield, where Spanish was not spoken.”

The culture shock that resulted from transitioning from Mexico to the U.S. was another obstacle she endured.

“I lived in a small town in Mexico with less than 300 inhabitants,” Pulido said, “so when I arrived (in the United States), it was a whole new world for me.”

As a high school senior, she has been an active member of ASB, California Scholarship Federation, and Upward Bound. She plans on attending the University of California, Davis after high school.

Jasmine Joy Juliano, an immigrant from a Filipino province named Tarlac, was 11 when she came to the U.S. alongside her father, brother, and cousin.

“My mom worked here in America, so she wanted to petition her children to live in the U.S. for better opportunities,” Juliano said.

Although she already knew English in addition to Tagalog – the native language of the Philippines – and Kapampangan – a Filipino dialect – it was tough for Juliano to make new friends and assimilate to a new culture.

“After a while, I found the group of friends I belong with,” Juliano said. “It was just really difficult to leave home, where I knew everybody.”

Juliano is one of the valedictorians of the senior class. In addition to being an exemplary student, she has been involved in Band, Red Cross, Robotics, and Mock Trial.

Like Pulido, Juliano will further her education at the University of California, Davis, where she will major in aerospace engineering in hopes of working for the Port Hueneme Naval Base as an engineer.

Juliano’s advice to recent immigrants is to get out of one’s shell as soon as possible.

“Don’t be afraid to push yourself to do whatever you want to do,” she said. “Opportunities will fall into place when you follow your passion.”

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