Portraits of Promise

Portraits of Promise Voices of Successful Immigrant Students

Michael Sadowski
Pub. Date: February 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-518-3
paper, 192 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-516-9
Price: $30.00

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By 2040, more than 30 percent of students in the United States will be immigrants or the children of immigrants. What factors can help these young people thrive in school, despite the many obstacles they face? And how can school staff best support immigrant students’ academic and personal success? In Portraits of Promise, educators hear from the ultimate experts—successful newcomer students.


Portraits of Promise investigates the question of immigrant students’ success from the vantage point of crucial developmental tasks and skills. Written in an accessible, journalistic style, the book will appeal to high school and college teachers, the general public, and the immigrant community itself. This empirical, asset-based account of immigrant youth adaptation is profoundly needed in our field. — Angela Valenzuela, professor, Education Policy & Planning Program at The College of Education, University of Texas at Austin

This book promises to be an important resource for educators. Immigrant students are a generally voiceless community, and Michael Sadowski provides a great service in allowing these young people the opportunity to speak and advocate for themselves. — Sonia Nieto, professor emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Portraits of Promise provides poignant insight into the educational experiences of academically successful immigrant students. Informed by the perspectives of students themselves, the book eloquently describes the challenges and obstacles immigrant students face. I commend Michael Sadowski for providing practical recommendations for educators to nurture the strengths that immigrant students already possess in order to support their academic success. — William Perez, associate professor, Claremont Graduate University

Cheers to Sadowski for discussing an issue that is so visible, yet too often is ignored. Every educator should take note that old adage “one size doesn’t fit all” doesn’t just refer to students’ academic ability but also pertains to their cultural backgrounds. — Priscilla A. Boerger, School Administrator

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About the Author

Michael Sadowski is an assistant professor of education at Bard College. He is the editor of Adolescents at School: Perspectives on Youth, Identity, and Education and Teaching Immigrant and Second-Language Students: Strategies for Success, and the author of In a Queer Voice: Journeys of Resilience from Adolescence to Adulthood.