This week’s guest Dream Act guest post is written by Carol, an undocumented student who is lobbying her Congressional members for passage of the DREAM Act. Visit Dreamactivist.org to find out how you can help pass the Dream Act.
I came to this country when I was six years old and have been in this country ever since. My parents brought me to this country to have a better future and life. Unfortunately, life in Mexico during the early 1990’s like today, was full of poverty and corruption. Therefore, my parents opted to risk my life as well as theirs, to come to this unknown land, the one described by many as the land of opportunities, the land where dreams come true, the land of the United States of America.
At the tender age of six I comprehended everything that was surrounding my life. I clearly remember the traumatic and life-threatening experience I had when my parents and I crossed the border. After that experience I have been motivated to do everything in my power to excel and make my parents proud of me. I dedicated myself to my studies and excelled academically at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Due to my academic and community service achievements as well as school activities I was the first person in my family to attend a prestigious university, Rutgers University, and qualify for many scholarships. However, like you must already know, I was unable to receive financial assistance and therefore qualify for any scholarships due to my illegal status.
My dream since a young girl had been to become a teacher. I have done everything in my power to fulfill that dream. And even though this minor obstacle was put in front of me, I still kept on with my dream and continued with my plans to attend college. I had to get two jobs in order to have enough money to pay for my tuition. I struggled many days and sleepless nights working extra shifts at my job to have sufficient money to pay for my school.
After a lot of obstacles and struggles and most importantly with God’s help I graduated college. Part of my dream was fulfilled. This past May I graduated college and became once again, the first person in my family to obtain a college degree. I was extremely content with my achievements, however, once again my reality smacked me right across the face and almost knocked me down. Right after my graduation, I was accepted into a prestigious Alternate Route Teaching Program for New York City. It was an alternate route teaching program that enables candidates to obtain a teaching license and a Master’s degree. I was accepted into the program and was about to start the orientation when I was informed to bring my documents to verify my legal status. When I informed the representatives of my situation, I was informed that I was unable to continue with the program and that my application and admittance had to be revoked.
I was devastated because my dream was shattered into little pieces. I tried my best to find a loop hole; I talked to anyone that I could. I even talked to the chancellor of New York City’s public schools but all was in vain. There was nothing that could have been done. Due to the fact that I am an illegal immigrant I have no opportunity to fulfill my dream and help those who truly need the most help of all, the children. Although this has been a major obstacle in my life that has prevented me to work and establish myself as a professional, I decided to keep studying. Currently, I am enrolled in a community college pursuing a nursing career. I pray to God that once I am done with this field of study and new career the Dream Act will be a law and therefore I will be allowed to work and fulfill my dream.