David Velazquez immigrated from Mexico with his mother and sister at the age of nine. Due to his mother’s unrelenting focus on education, David excelled in school but, when he started studying for his SAT’s, he learned that even with high scores, community service, and excellent grades, he could not attend any public university without paying out-of-state tuition. He took advantage of a program offered to seniors at his high school, which allowed students to take classes at a local community college without verifying immigration status. After a year at the community college, David was able to obtain legal permanent residency and transfer to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. There, he became a distinguished leader by instituting several organizations including the Hispanic College Awareness Program (HCAP), a student-led organization providing guidance, mentorship, and support for first-generation aspiring college students. HCAP played a key role in almost doubling the Latino student attendance at the university from 2007-2010. David graduated in 2009 from UNCC with a B.S.B.A in International Business, minor in Economics, and a Certificate in Translation. He has been living in Washington, D.C. since 2011 and has worked as a Policy Associate at the National Immigration Law Center and served as Legislative Aide for Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez before joining TheDream.US.