About the Authors

Christa with her husband Mitchell and their puppyChrista

My name is Christa Grohoski. I am in my third year at the University of Maine at Farmington where I am studying Secondary Education: English. I also am working to be certified to work with English Language Learners. I have always been fascinated by other cultures and have been blessed to have done quite a bit of traveling. These days, however, I spend most of my time either working on school or spending time with friends or my little family (I am married and have a dog and two cats). After I finish my degree, I hope to spend some time teaching English over-seas somewhere.

I am so grateful that I decided to be a part of this class and project. I have a deep interest in other cultures and since I was in seventh grade I have been able to travel to another country almost every year. So I got to learn about some new culture and I felt connected to that passion. Where I am now, in school, working, and taking care of my family I have little time to travel or be involved with the other cultures even in my area. This gave me a chance to both research a new group of people, the African immigrants in Maine, and hear their stories first-hand. This is the first research project I have done where I get to go be a part of what I am reading about, it makes me feel like a part of history. I hope that the stories I share can allow more people to feel the connection to history and other cultures that I have gained from this incredible experience.



Hello! I am Calista Hodges. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Maine at Farmington majoring in Secondary Education with a concentration in Social Studies and International  & Global Studies. I spend a lot of time as a literacy mentor for young girls in the town surrounding my university. I also spend a lot of time exploring technology, reading, and learning all that I can about education and history.

Throughout this process it was hard to always know what you should be doing, saying, or asking.  When talking to Mana and Khadija I often found myself getting lost in their passion. I learned a lot about the different barriers out in front of migrant groups. Talking to these lovely people also seeded a devotion to being a better future educator than Mana and Khadija had when in high school.  Furthermore, after these interviews, I was really glad I had dedicated myself to this project. As Mana and Khadija said they really wanted people to have a conversation about things they might not be educated about, to better interact with the world and people around you, and that is just what this class is doing.  I will leave with this last sentiment. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” -Wayne Dyer