The Team

Tatyana

Tatyana Kleyn

(Director and Co-Producer)

Tatyana Kleyn is an associate professor in the Programs in Bilingual Education and TESOL at The City College of New York. She came to the U.S. as a political refugee from the Soviet Union as a child. In 2007 she received an Ed.D. in international educational development at Teachers College, Columbia University, where her research focused on the intersections of bilingual and multicultural education in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Chinese and Russian bilingual classrooms. She is the author of “Immigration: The Ultimate Teen Guide” (Scarecrow Press, 2011) and co-author of “Teaching in Two Languages: A Guide for K-12 Bilingual Educators” with Adelman Reyes (Corwin Press, 2010). She has also published about the cultural, linguistic and educational needs of the Garífuna people in Honduras. Tatyana has studied ‘Long-Term English Learners’ in NYC secondary schools. She was an elementary school teacher in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and Atlanta, Georgia.


Ben

Ben Donnellon

(Cinematographer, Editor and Co-Producer)

Ben graduated from Ithaca College, where he studied Cinema & Photography with a minor in philosophy.  He is co-founder of the non-profit organization, The FilmShop, a group of independent filmmakers and media producers dedicated to developing new, groundbreaking work through collaboration and collective development. Ben has filmed short documentaries all over the world including Israel, Cuba, Morocco, Poland, Czech Republic, and Ukraine. He has served as cinematographer on two feature length films and he is currently directing a feature film about our addiction to technology.


Arline

Arline

(DREAMer, Website Collaborator)

Arline came to the United States when she was 5 months old from Mexico and was raised in the Bronx.  She is working towards her bachelor’s degree in bilingual education and history at The City College of New York.  She has received the IME (Instituto de Mexicanos en el Exterior) Becas Scholarship as well as the Charles Ritter and Linda Madure Ritter Scholarship providing the funds to complete her undergraduate studies. As a beneficiary of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), she aspires to pursue a career as a bilingual teacher. She currently interns at La Casa Azul Bookstore, promoting literature among the growing Mexican population in East Harlem. 


Irving

Irving

(DREAMer, Lesson Plan Creator)

Irving was born in Veracruz Mexico and migrated to the United States at the age of 7, in 1997. He attended North Rockland High School from which he graduated to continue his education at SUNY Rockland Community College. After getting his Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, Irving transferred to CUNY City College from which he received a bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Education with a co-major in Psychology. Irving is now pursuing a master’s in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at City College.  He is employed by the New York City Department of Education as a substitute teacher, and aims to have a full time teaching position. Irving hopes to help those in his shoes fulfill their dreams and aspirations by serving as an example that the American dream lives on in a new generation of immigrants.


Jaqueline

Jaqueline

(DREAMer, Resource Guide Developer)  

Jaqueline migrated to New York from Mexico at the age of 14 to reunite with her parents after years of separation. She graduated from Gregorio Luperón High School. She studied at The City College of New York were she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Childhood Education and Psychology, and her master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently looking for a job to put her degrees in education into practice. Her passion is working with children and youth, and giving them the tools to empower themselves to become agents of change in their communities. In fact, she strongly believes in education as the means to achieve social justice. She dreams of becoming an educator to support children’s academic development while fostering their multicultural identity and growth in a safe space. Growing up undocumented is challenging, but as Jaqueline states, “Never give up and remember that you are not alone. Seek information, get active in your community and be proactive to take charge of your life and decisions.”


LU Jong-Min

Jong-Min

(DREAMer, Researcher)

Jong-Min was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1980. When he was just one year old, his parents immigrated to the U.S. on student visas. Though their visas expired in 1985, the family stayed in Nashville, Tennessee until Jong-Min was eight, when they moved to Brooklyn, where they currently live and work. Jong-Min attended Stuyvesant High School, and returned to Tennessee (University of Tennessee – Knoxville), where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. After graduation, he came back to New York City, and has worked in the underground economy at a nearby flower store, pizzeria, and his parents’ grocery store. And since 2009, he’s been blessed as an elder Dreamer to speak at Brown University and the United Nations.  He was the very first Korean-American in the New York Korean newspaper advocating for the DREAM Act. 


Walde

Walde

(DREAMer)

Walde was born in Bamako, Mali, West Africa. She came to the United State when she was 12 years old.  Walde has received a scholarship from Bard College to attend any college of her choice. She is currently working as a Research Intern at the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families. She also mentors young stutterers at Our Time Theater Company, and has performed with them in a production on Broadway. She is interested in being a teacher and actress. She hopes to continue helping people who stutter by giving them a voice to speak up.  Walde has created her own non-profit organization, “StutterLand” to help shape the ways stutterers are seen and treated.


Yeser

Yeser

(DREAMer)

Yeser was born in Veracruz, Mexico.  At the age of 6 he migrated to the U.S. to be reunited with his family who were already living in New York.  He graduated from high school in 2012 and is studying Liberal Arts and Humanities at Rockland Community College.  He plans to apply for DACA. His goal is to work in animation.  He encourages other DREAMers to take full advantage of the opportunities they are afforded in the U.S.