No place to call home for Irish students in New York this summer
A summer of work sun and fun has turned into a nightmare for visiting Irish students
While the sun was fighting its way through dark clouds last Wednesday, June 10, dozens of young pale looking Irish men and women pounded the pavements, newspapers tucked neatly under their arms, backpacks on their backs, bottles of water in one hand and a pen and paper in the other.
This has become a regular site on McLean Avenue in Yonkers and Woodlawn in the Bronx the past few weeks. These young men and women, most of whom are in possession of a J-1 student visa which allows them to live and work the U.S. for four months, are all between the ages of 18 and 23.
They came to New York in droves late May, early June in the hope of earning their own piece of the American Dream, at least for four months. However, dreams are far from the reality these young children of Ireland are encountering.
“Not yet Mom, it’s really hard,” shouted Darren Quillinan into his newly purchased cell phone on Wednesday while sitting outside a local store in Woodlawn.
While two of his friends, both donned in knee length shorts and Abercrombie t-shirts, turned pages in the newspaper looking for jobs, Quillinan continued to explain to his Co. Cork mother 3,000 miles away that finding a job in New York wasn’t as easy as he anticipated.
Quillinan, 20, and his buddies, Liam Blennerhassett, 19, and Jamie Dolan, 20, all from Cork, told the Irish Voice that they arrived in New York on May 27 with big hopes.
“None of us have been here before so we decided to give New York a shot and apply for the J-1 visas,” shared Blennerhassett.
“Ya, but sure if we don’t get a job in the next week we are going to have to go home and there are no jobs either there,” said Dolan gloomily.
The three boys, all students in different colleges in Ireland, said they are “fed up” at the lack of jobs in New York.
The trio, albeit together, claim they have gone into every bar and restaurant in the city, including McDonald’s, and they are still jobless.
The Cork boys, who are all sleeping on blow up airbeds in the basement of a friend’s home, are running out of money and energy.
“I have had friends who came over here last year and they all got jobs no problem, so I don’t understand why we are having no luck,” said Quillinan.
They each came with approximately $2,000 in their back pockets and admitted that they spent at least half of the money partying the first week they arrived.
“Sure if we knew that it would be this hard to get a job we wouldn’t have gone out as much,” added Dolan.
For now the future remains dim for the Cork boys. They have applied for several jobs and have been told there is no work available.
“Three or four places all right told us they would give us a call, but we haven’t heard anything yet,” added Blennerhassett.
In the meantime the lads plan to continue buying a subway card every day, boarding the trains bound for Manhattan and continuing on their path to employment.
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"RECOVERY" My Arse The Country is in so much debt just about paying interest while borrowing 1 bl per month They have just been caught robbiThe New York Times questions Ireland’s highly-praised economic recovery
A bit of sleight of hand, I think. Rather than look into cleaning up the economy in the US, they'd rather try to find someone worse off. I wonder if tOffensive NFL sign outside restaurant just a symptom of a larger problem
Hi Chuck, if we get rid of red, what will Carl Rove do? After all it was his idea to associate red with the Republican Party.How Christmas was in my father’s time
I don't mean to be rude but I am aghast as to why your Father walked barefoot in the middle of Winter & also such a distance as every small villag