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Exploring the Perspectives of Los Angeles Based Jamaican Community Organizations Serving Immigrant Origin Jamaican Adolescents


Very little research has been done on Jamaican immigrants in Los Angeles. Existing research has focused on the majority Latino immigrant population, while others have lumped Jamaicans in with the broader African American demographic. This paper seeks to begin to uncover the experiences of Jamaicans in Los Angeles by investigating the role that community based Jamaican organizations play in the assistance and adjustment of immigrant origin Jamaican adolescents in locally. Representatives from five local Jamaican Community Organizations, with initiatives focused on Education and Youth, were interviewed using semi-structured qualitative interview methods to uncover what they do to assist Jamaican Immigrant adolescents in the county. Overall, the findings show that minimal direct service is provided from these organizations, even though they offer opportunities for scholarships and involvement. Organizations express a desire to do more and offered their insights and ideas. Further research should explore the perspectives of the Jamaican Immigrants Adolescents, Parents, Guidance Counselors, and Teachers who work directly with Jamaican Immigrants adolescents in schools within the Los Angeles Context. Having this data will enable organizations and service providers to be able to uncover the full picture and in response, create services to meet their needs adequately.

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