Jovana Tavizon, 20, from New York, born in Mexico.
College has been filled with new opportunities for me. My first year, I had my first official job working in a pharmacy. Now, I am working in a hospital. I love helping people and being part of their recovery processes. I received DACA when I was 15, and it has benefited my life greatly. I am able to work and help out my family here and in Mexico. I was able to participate in a pharmacy technician program where I was trained to be a certified pharmacy technician and get a job at a local pharmacy. DACA gave us the chance to prove to our communities that even though we are undocumented, we can excel in school, build a successful life, and give back to society. I originally intended to major in engineering, but after I spoke with my professors about life as an engineer, I realized that it was not what I wanted to do. Now I am a biology major, because I want to become a Nurse Practitioner in the NICU. I have always loved children and I would like to be part of the team that helps babies that are sick get on a path to recovery and hopefully a healthy life. I want to be able to make my parents proud and reassure them that all of their sacrifices and struggles were worth it, and that they can let go and begin to relax because I can take care of them like they took care of me. I consider America as half of my home, because although I have lived here for more than half my life, only half my family is here. If all my family was here, in one place, then I would see the United States as my home. Although it doesn’t feel completely like my home, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I know that here I have a good job, I can finish my education, I can start my career, and eventually raise a family of my own.I was eight years old when we came to the United States, and I have been living in New York City ever since. At first, I found living in America difficult because I missed my family in Mexico and I had trouble learning English. I was bullied in school and I didn’t feel like I belonged here. After a year and a half of learning the language, things got better at school, but there was still plenty to get used to.Growing up, I was a member of a co-ed boy scout troop called Venture Crew for five years, and the leaders of the troop became like family to me. They helped me and taught me many important lessons about life and the real world that I still keep with me to this day. As a troop, we would perform community service and travel around the United States visiting national parks. I learned the value of serving my community, and it is something I continue to aspire to. My college advisor in high school told me about TheDream.US scholarship opportunity, and I immediately applied. If I wasn’t fortunate enough to receive the scholarship, I would probably be working two jobs and saving money to pay for my younger brother’s college education. I don’t want my dad, who is already working two jobs, to have to carry that burden alone. This scholarship came to me as a blessing, and I am forever grateful for it. It is important for other people who are skeptical of DACA to know that there is a society of undocumented students that are working hard and fighting to have a successful life in a country where we
have often been told that we don’t belong. We do belong, because we were brought here to have a better life, and that is why, in part, the United States was founded in the first place.