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Monica, 24, from North Carolina, born in Mexico

I began to view America as my home as soon as I arrived at the age of eight, even though it was all so different from what I had known in Mexico City. I loved the picturesque homes that lined the streets, they looked exactly like my drawings, a square building with a triangular roof — a style which was not very common in Mexico. When we first arrived here it was late spring and Durham seemed like a jungle, full of green luscious trees and birds and squirrels all over. Most importantly America is my home because it is where my family lives. I am the first one in my family to pursue a four-year degree. I want to become a child and adolescent psychologist. Eventually, I want to open my own practice and do some volunteer work for those who are unable to receive the mental health care they need. Eastern Connecticut State has been great. I have been able to come out of my shell more and meet new people and be more interactive and involved. I work for the Office of Wellness Education and Promotion and I am a member of OLAS (Organization of Latin American Students), the Psychology club, transfer student association, College Dems, and I’m the treasurer for Freedom at Eastern, the first Undocumented student club on our campus. Higher education not only opens new doors for us as DREAMers, but it also allows for progress in our society. We can give back more to our communities and we can serve as examples to kids who do not see themselves in higher education or who are discouraged. Do not give up. It’s a long path but it’s worth it. DACA has allowed many of us to continue our dreams, to innovate and to create opportunities for our communities and this country. DACA takes nothing from this country, it allows for us to give back.