Reel Grrls 2013

Reel Grrls 2013

Reel Grrls 2013

We have been so busy this year that we have neglected to update you on what we’ve been doing. We will add a few posts with the highlights.

In June of this year, six middle school students spent a week in Seattle with Reel Grrls learning how to make movies. This was our third year in a row participating in Reel Grrls’ Teen Video Camp. We traveled by train, stayed with host families, and explored the city. We got to know many girls from Seattle and, overall, had an amazing time.  You can see the two movies we produced about bullying using the links below. Our movies have been used at our middle schools this year to teach students about alternatives to bullying.

Thanks to Reel Grrls for their continued support of our participation in this program. We hope we can send another group of girls this summer!

Sharing our Message in Orlando, Florida

National Migrant Conference - Orlando, Florida

National Migrant Conference – Orlando, Florida

We traveled to Orlando, Florida, at the end of April to present a workshop at the National Migrant Education Conference. Our workshop was titled “The Healing Power of Personal Stories.” Six of us from the middle schools shared our stories and talked to the 60 attendees about our Migrant Leaders Club, our book project, and how others can replicate what we’ve done in Mount Vernon. Can you believe that we received all “Excellents” on the 50+ evaluations we received? Many people came up to us afterward and told us that our workshop was their favorite from the whole conference. We sold 87 books in four hours that day and signed many, many autographs. (When we got home, we received orders for 240 more books and an invite to be keynote speakers at the state migrant conference in Kentucky in September!)

Our success at the conference was definitely the highlight of the trip, but we managed to squeeze in some fun too! On our first day we went to the Kennedy Space Center out near Cape Canaveral, where we watched a 3-D IMAX movie about the International Space Station and went on a simulator of what it feels like to take off in a space shuttle. Then we headed to Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic Ocean and body surfed until one of us tried to pick up a giant jellyfish – ouch! We finished our day at the University of Central Florida where we met several new graduates still in their caps and gowns.

We spent our second day at Univeral Orlando riding roller coasters and enjoying the water rides. We took a short break to have a BIG lunch and a really special VIP tour at Hard Rock Cafe thanks to Ms. Blackmore’s college friend who is a lawyer there. The third day we spent at the conference. At our workshop, we met up with one of our Mount Vernon parents who was attending the conference as a resprestative of our state’s migrant parent advisory committee. He accompanied us to the home of another friend where we swam in her pool and watched an impressive rain and lightening storm from her screened back porch. We did so much during our four days in Florida, and still managed to find time to swim in our hotel pools and try several kinds of new food – Cuban, Thai, Friendly’s, and some really bad Florida Tex-Mex.

Overall the trip was amazing. Back in March, when one of us had the idea to raise money to attend the conference, we never really imagined that it would happen, but we are realizing more and more every day that many doors will open for us if we just dream it is possible.

Check the photo gallery for pictures coming soon!

Congresswoman DelBene Asks Our Opinion on Immigration Reform

photo (2)

In late February, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene invited us to share with her our opinions on immigration reform. We shared with her the pain of our personal experiences with immigration and our ideas on what changes would most help us and our families. She seemed very receptive and we are hopeful that our words made a difference!

Speaking Engagement on the Olympic Peninsula

Students speaking in Port Angeles

Students speaking at Peninsula College

Last week we headed to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to do four paid speaking engagements, tour Peninsula College in Port Angeles, and visit high school students and community members in Forks.We met so many interesting people and we feel energized to begin work on several new project ideas. This trip taught us that we need to do more research to educate ourselves better about current immigration issues.

Our public speaking skills continue to improve and we’re looking forward to doing more trips of this kind in the future. If you know of a group, school, or community that would like to engage in a discussion about the themes discussed in our book and documentary, please let us know!

18498 97 96 95 94 92 91 9With Forks Students PenCollege President Maria & Jan 2

DreamFields Awards First Scholarship

Champions of Diversity

Rosa and Jacob Paz Perez and Ana Mendoza.
Rosa and Ana presented the scholarship to Jacob (Rosa’s older brother).

In November, we awarded a Mount Vernon migrant student with a $1500 college scholarship using a portion of the money we have earned from the sales of DreamFields. Two of us who worked on the book stood up in front of hundreds of people at MacIntyre Hall at Skagit Valley College and presented the Champions of Diversity scholarship on behalf of the Migrant Leaders Club to Jacob Paz Perez, a current senior at Mount Vernon High School. Jacob plans to attend Skagit Valley College next year and study criminal justice.

It was so exciting to see our project helping a member of our own community!

We hope to keep selling books and be able to give even more scholarship money through Champions of Diversity next year!

Thanks to everyone who has purchased a book for helping us achieve our dream of giving a scholarship. It feels pretty amazing to realize in our first years of high school that we can change the lives of migrant students right here in our community. We hope to do even more!

2012 in review

We just received our 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

 This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012.

Click here to see the complete report.

DreamFields Now for Sale Online!

We’re happy to report that DreamFields can now be purchased online! Simply click on the picture of our book below, or go to and look for DreamFields in the book section. Today is a big day for us. We will now begin marketing the book as we’ve always wished we could. Please help us spread the word!


Click here to buy the book