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“Julia”, is 19, studying at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

I am a strong believer of the idea that, “it doesn’t matter where you came from. What matters is who you choose to be.” Without access to higher education, I honestly do not know where I would be. Knowledge is power. I believe that every child should have the chance to reach their potential. The reality is that educated people are more likely to be heard and make a change. I was only nine years old when my parents decided to move to the United States of America, the Land of Opportunity. I struggled to learn a new language. My classmates made fun of me, because they thought I would get held back a year since I didn’t speak English. I proved them wrong and became the top student in my class. My mom became an underpaid housekeeper, while my dad got a job at a car lot, working long days in the hot sun to support us. They still make these sacrifices every day. People like us help move the country forward. I am majoring in biology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Although my dream is to become a physician assistant, I would also like to teach others about social issues. I want to make people aware of all the issues ordinary people face and inspire them to get involved and stand up for their beliefs. I plan to give back to the community by volunteering whenever possible and maybe even fund a scholarship when I’m older. My goal is to be able to help students like me someday. Receiving DACA changed my life. It has allowed me to become employed. I am now working as a waitress to help my parents with the bills. Going to school and working is tough, but I do not allow myself to get discouraged. I am also able to travel within the U.S., which is something that I was never allowed to do before. I no longer feel left out when my friends plan trips. Every time I think about the possibility of DACA ending without passing a permanent legislation, I burst into tears. I can’t help but think that everything that I’ve worked so hard for could be taken away in the blink of an eye. Nevertheless, I don’t give up. I would tell others in my situation to never stop trying. You cannot succeed if you don’t try. Your dreams can be reached if you set goals. There are people out there willing to help and I am forever grateful for their kindness and support. As a great mind once said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

TheDream.US National Scholarship Applications are still open. The deadline to apply is Feb 29, 2024.

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