Masuma talks about leaving Bangladesh with her family when she was 15. Masuma’s initial excitement about coming to the United States was quickly replaced by fear once she realized how little she could communicate. Masuma shares her gratitude for her best friend, Anjum, who helped Masuma learn English and overcome her fears.

Co-produced by the Human Rights class at Newcomers High School: Kanto Rasedoara, Anamaria Amaya, Dino Koljenovic, Manuel Lema, Jiahao Liao, Aysha Chowdhury, Farida Van Gennip, Abbas Kaafarani. Interviewed by Julie Mann.

The Welcoming Stories Workshop is an education outreach program created by First Person American. The Welcoming Stories Workshop encourages students to become more welcoming, and to inspire other immigrant students to share their own story about someone who made a big difference in their lives when they first arrived. The films produced in collaboration with Julie Mann’s Human Rights class at Newcomers High School—a 100% immigrant high school in Long Island City, Queens, New York. The workshop was funded, in part, by the Facing History and Ourselves, Margot Stern Strom Teaching Award.

First Person American focuses on stories of modern immigrants in the US, and explores what it means to be American through the lens of the immigrant in an expressive, personal and narrative style. First Person American aims to change the public’s perception of immigrants and to interject a new voice through deep and poignant portraits of people who immigrated to America. The mission of First Person American is to have a transformative effect on individual immigrant and non-immigrant lives and communities. For more information, please visit and follow on Twitter @FPAmerican.

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…