Roger Alvarez (left) did not graduate from high school, despite the efforts of his former English teacher, Antero Garcia. At 22, Alvarez still hopes to get his GED. StoryCorps hide caption

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Meliza Arellano (right) is now an 11th grader at Democracy Prep in New York City. Her seventh-grade teacher, Sarah Benko, inspired her to want to become a teacher. StoryCorps hide caption

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Ayodeji Ogunniyi and his father, Abimbola "Yinka" Ogunniyi, at their first American home in South Holland, Ill., in 1993.

Ayodeji Ogunniyi hide caption

itoggle caption Ayodeji Ogunniyi