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These kids are Irish but were told they’re not Irish enough.

What exactly does it mean to be an Irish student but just not Irish enough?

These kids are Irish but were told they’re not Irish enough.
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The Atlantic Philanthropies

That sounds pretty weird, right? But it's exactly how this group of young migrants in Ireland feel when trying to get citizenship and go to college there.

They came up with a cool animation to tell their stories and break it all down.

"We're the children of the first generation of migrants who've made Ireland home. All born outside of the EU (European Union), we came here to join our parents. We've grown up here and put down roots. Ireland is our home."


Cool … tell me more.

Most young migrants have graduated high school. Some have even started college, but they want the right to finish, get an advanced degree, and contribute to Ireland's future.

Well, that sounds great. What's the holdup?

"Did you know that if you're coming to Ireland from outside of the EU, to live and work, you need permission in the form of a stamp and your passport? You don't exist in the immigration system until you register at 16 and get your first stamp. Time spent in Ireland before this didn't count towards citizenship. We have no control over the stamps we get."

Hmmm ... that doesn't sound too fair.

"We're stuck in a system set up for working adults, not us, their children."

Whoa. What does that actually look like in real life?

If you don't have citizenship by the time you're in college, you don't qualify to go for free. (Ireland offers free college tuition to students born there.) "Through no fault of our own, we are never going to satisfy the nationality criteria. No matter how long we have lived in Ireland, we will face EU fees."

Are EU fees like paying full price for college without scholarships or student loans?

Yep. "EU fees are huge. Our parents have to pay double or triple what other students pay."

But what if your citizenship is approved while you're in college?

"If you become a citizen while you're in college, you can't reverse your fee status. Which means that you'll always have to pay," whether you're a citizen or not.

Ouch. How do people manage?

Here are some ways that students get by:

"I'm here 12 years. My parent's entire disposable income goes to my EU fees. I'm a drain on their resources."

"I'm here 12 years, and I made it into second year by the skin of my teeth. And I'm the reason my sister can't afford to start college."

"I can't go to college. I can't afford it. So I see no bright future."

Wow, that's too bad for them. But why should we care?

Aside from it being the right thing to do, having more educated folks anywhere increases the possibility of a brighter future. A robust economy creates more jobs and more innovation and helps shape a more productive world.

"By investing in us, you're investing in Ireland's future. … What will cost the Department of Education a little in the short term will save a fortune in the long term."

What can you do?

Take a peek at this video for more information:

You can also check out the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland website.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

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Terence Power / TikTok

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

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Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

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