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Dan-El Padilla Peralta: Growing up homeless and undocumented

Thursday, March 14
4:15 p.m. Standish Room, Science Library, University at Albany uptown campus, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany NY 12222 -- See map
7:30 p.m. Presentation/Conversation, Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Albany
-- See map

Free and open to the public.

Dan-El Padilla Peralta, photo by Piero Ribelli
Dan-El Padilla Peralta (Courtesy Piero Ribelli)

Scholar and memoirist Dan-El Padilla Peralta recounts his remarkable life story in the bestselling memoir, Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League (2015).

The child of a Dominican mother who overstayed an emergency medical visa, Padilla arrived in the U.S. at the age of four, and grew up in homeless shelters in New York City while his mother struggled to earn a living as a cleaning lady.

Now an assistant professor of classics at Princeton, he is regarded as “one of the best classicists to emerge in his generation” (Wall Street Journal).

In an interview published on the Princeton web site, Peralta explained how reading influenced his life: "Growing up, I drew sustenance from books. In my application to Princeton, I tried to explain how reading books had allowed me to create and imagine for myself all these different identities that I could inhabit. Books provided me with the raw material I needed to construct a vision of what not only my future but my family’s future, my community’s futures, should look like."

Cosponsored by the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education and Friends of the New York State Library.

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