Having an ID can give people access to many different services. But what are those services and who might be barred from them if they don’t have an official ID? What role does a municipal ID play?

Students from Irving Estella’s ESL class at the Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering in Bushwick, Brooklyn worked with CUP Teaching Artist Raúl Ayala to clear things up. They interviewed people on the streets and a lawyer from Make the Road NY to find out more about how people use IDs. With the information they collected, they created a booklet to share what they learned.

Check out the booklet here!

What People are Saying

“I look at the city differently now, and in my opinion it was a good project that changed how we think, and taught us to see from everyone’s point of view.” — Merlin Reyes, student

“I learned how to interview people, how to work in a group and why an ID is useful for us.” — Walter Chan Rodar, student

CUP brought to my class another connection with the “real” outside world where my students could experience learning on a larger scale than the two-dimensional scale of the classroom. Working with a professional artist spoke larger than my talking about artists. A real life project such as how to obtain an ID card communicates a relevancy no other textbook or virtual exercise could do”. — Irving Estella, classroom teacher

Resources & Links

The Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering (AUPE) is a public school in Bushwick with an urban planning theme-based curriculum.

Make the Road New York builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education and survival services.

Funding Support

This project was made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Sebastian Sanchez (Make the Road New York)


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Raúl Ayala
  • Project Lead
  • Pema Domingo-Barker
  • Project Support
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering
  • Students
  • Chirino “Brayan” Arevalo
  • Walter Chan Rodas
  • Jean-Carlos Garcia
  • Liselot Gomez
  • Fredman Hernandez
  • Kevin Jaque Maiza
  • Bryan Jimenez
  • Cristal Mejia
  • Mayeline Montero
  • Pedro Perez
  • Merliny Reyes
  • Pablo Santana
  • Darwin Segura
  • Ignacio Vasquez
  • Yaritza Vasquez
  • Evander Vega
  • Darleny Zapata
  • Classroom Teacher
  • Irving Estella