Trey Kay Published

Immigrant Children Fighting for the Right to Learn and the American Dream

Fighting to Learn - Image
Immigrant Khadidja Issa was the litigant in a landmark lawsuit that established rights for immigrants seeking to access public education in American schools.
Jo Napolitano

America is seen as a land of opportunities and education for all, but a group of young refugees in Pennsylvania had to challenge the local school district to access their schooling.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, school officials first said the six refugees, aged 17 to 21, were too old for public school programs. Only after a lawsuit and protracted negotiations, were the students placed in classes for English language learners.

Us & Them host Trey Kay speaks with Jo Napolitano the author of a new book, “The School I Deserve,” which follows this case. He also has a conversation with Khadidja Isaa, one of the refugees who fought for her education.

For more information about Jo Napolitano’s book  The School I Deserve — Six Young Refugees and Their Fight for Equality in America.

Also, check out Napolitano’s web site at:

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the West Virginia Humanities Council and the CRC Foundation.

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Jo Napolitano - photo

Jo Napolitano
Jo Napolitano has more than twenty years of journalism experience at The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Newsday.
Khadidjah in the classroom

Jo Napolitano
Immigrant Khadidja Issa in the classroom at McCaskey High School in Lancaster, PA.
Khadidjah hugging her mother after graduation.

Jo Napolitano
Khadidjah Issa hugging her mother after her graduation from McCaskey High School in Lancaster, PA.
Trey and Khadidjah

Trey Kay
Trey Kay visiting Khadidjah Issa at her home in Lancaster, PA.