Dear Esteemed College Leaders,
I am overjoyed to write to you today as the new President and CEO of TheDream.US. Your lovely messages and emails have been deeply appreciated.
As I embrace my role at this pivotal time for our organization and students, I reflect on my journey, evolving from an undocumented student to a U.S. citizen and now leading the largest scholarship and success program for immigrant youth. Like the 10,000+ Scholars we’ve supported, I grew up in this nation, attended its schools, and received the gift of education thanks to believers in my potential. I understand the challenges our Scholars face, including the 80% of our latest Scholars lacking DACA or TPS. Like me, I know our Scholars have a lot to offer if given the opportunity to help our nation grow and thrive.
This organization began during a more hopeful era for Dreamers, with DACA recently enacted and broader immigration reform on the horizon. Unfortunately, the landscape for Dreamers is less favorable today. Yet we remain committed to sharing our unique perspective on why Congress still needs to deliver on its long overdue role to provide Dreamers with stability, opportunity and the chance to become U.S. citizens. Meanwhile, as we await congressional action, we also know there are other ways that the current administration, state policymakers, and even higher education institutions, private companies, and everyday Americans can step up and support opportunities for Dreamers.
Despite the challenges, I remain optimistic, knowing our Scholars have our unwavering support to meet their evolving needs and those of our graduates.
From the outset, our partner colleges have been essential thought partners, and we will continue to engage you in our strategy to ensure our Scholars find their sense of self-worth and put their degrees to meaningful use.
Our scholarship round is open, and we’re collaborating with your media departments, admissions offices, and staff to spread the word. We look forward to seeing at least 10 Scholars start college at your institution next Fall! And in February, we’ll kick off a year-long celebration of empowering over 10,000 Dreamers with a scholarship to attend your institution. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting celebration.
I’m immensely proud of our achievements. I have lived and breathed this organization and its mission for the past decade. And I am sure you share this same sentiment about our roles as leaders; it’s not just a responsibility; it’s a privilege. I believe, like Dr. Padron, my long-time mentor and President of Miami Dade College when I was a student there, that we are dream factories. I’m committed to continuing to open doors, break down barriers, and empower Dreamers to reach their full potential.
Lastly, I want to express my gratitude to Don Graham and Candy Marshall for their leadership, trust in me, and commitment to TheDream.US over the past decade and beyond.
I am confident that together, TheDream.US will build on the first decade of its success and create a legacy that transcends our time, one where Dreamers can dream without limits and our nation thrives on the strength of their dreams.
With heartfelt gratitude and excitement,
Maria Gabriela “Gaby” Pacheco, President and CEO