“First-Generation Amish” Definition
When Torah says that she’s the first first-generation Amish person to graduate from the Ivy League, she’s referring specifically to individuals who were raised only traditional Amish and personally escaped/left the Church.
New Order Amish, Beachy Amish, Amish Mennonite, etc. do not fall under this definition. That’s not to invalidate or dismiss the accomplishments of those who were raised within those churches, but because Torah was raised only Amish, she can’t speak on what the rules, disadvantages, challenges, and unique cultures are for groups who spun off from the Amish.
The label “Old Order” to refer to what the general public understands as simply “Amish”––or most often thinks of when they hear or see things about the Amish––was invented by others, not us.
It’s important to understand that the traditional Amish Church does not allow us to go to school beyond the 8th grade and that the education we do receive is very rudimentary and restricted (e.g., we’re not allowed to learn about subjects such as science). Most of us (99%?) attend one-room schoolhouses taught by Amish teachers who themselves haven’t received an education beyond the Amish 8th grade.
We traditional Amish also do not speak English fluently. It’s our second language, and we’re generally not allowed to communicate in English among ourselves. I.e., English is to be spoken only in school (to learn the language), when communicating with non-Amish speakers, and when communicating via writing (Amish as a language is traditionally only spoken, not written, and we do not communicate fluently in English).
Empowering Amish women and children through education