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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@Patrick Roberts: I know you read the comment section of your articles, I want you to explain your headline and this very flawed article.Nelson Mandela once considered a terrorist by many Irish political leaders
None of the establishment parties supported the Dunnes Strikers, only Sinn Fein and the Communist Party. That is a fact.Top ten negative terms used to describe Irish everywhere (PHOTOS)
Calling people names based on their nationality is never funny. It is just bullying at its root. Do we not yet have enough of the consequenses of tRacist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
Racism is independant of economics in its personal nature. While poverty or other things may stimulate racist behavior they are not causal. Racism