Country of Origin: Mexico
Age of Arrival: 7 years old
Hometown: Houston, TX
Sometimes I feel that, in America, a 9-digit number determines how people treat you. That’s one of the things that is stressful to me about the idea of losing DACA – I would no longer have a valid Social Security number, something that helps me feel somehow American. DACA also allowed me to access a driver’s license, gain a work permit, and qualify for in-state tuition. And it gave me the security to feel somehow safe and not fearful when I heard harsh immigration laws being passed. It granted me the opportunity to feel normal and, most of all, to continue with my dreams of achieving higher education.
I first heard about The Dream.US scholarship though social media. On Instagram, I followed a page called ‘Humans of New York’ which portrays many people’s stories. It shows a picture of them, a part of their story, and where they are currently residing. One day last year, I was scrolling through my instagram and saw a story of a young woman who wrote that without the help of TheDream.US scholarship, she would not have been able to pay for her tuition. I googled the name of the scholarship, read about it, saw the requirements, and decided to apply.
Now, I want to get the best college experience that I can. I want to gain greater knowledge for my future career. I want to be able to do great in my classes and receive my Bachelor’s Degree. I don’t only want to focus on my school work, but also to be involved in different clubs and organizations.
Because of The Dream. US no person or law can take away my education and my degree. That’s one reason I must give it my all to finish strong and graduate from the University of Houston. My future plans, after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, is to continue to further my education and apply for a Physician’s Assistant program. I want to be able to help ill people and give back during this lifetime.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, my dad was a policeman in Monterrey, Mexico. We had no economic problems due to his stable salary. But as the crime rate started increasing and the war between drug cartels started, my parents knew it was no longer safe for my dad to be a policeman. My father’s brother persuaded him to think about the option of moving to America, or as Mexicans call it, “el otro lado“. It was not an easy decision but my parents wanted the best education for us and, most importantly, a safe environment for us to grow up in. I was 7 years old when we came to America.
At first, growing up in America was a daily battle. I was trying to fit in with the American lifestyle but yet I wanted to keep my Mexican roots. Everything was new to me and not being able to speak the native language of this country held me back. After about four years in the United States, I started to consider it a home. My memories from Mexico were beginning to fade away slowly and I couldn’t picture my family’s faces clear anymore. I gave up on the idea of ever seeing them again. I told myself it would be less painful to stop holding onto hope of going back to Mexico.
But when my grandmother, who I considered my mother, died, I only felt anger. I was mad at my parents for bringing us to the U.S. and myself for allowing them. I was unable to say goodbye to the person I loved most in this world. Traveling back to Mexico meant there was no way of coming back again. At that point, we had already gotten used to our new home, family, friends, and the environment around us. My parents knew if we moved back to Mexico there would be no future for us. We sacrificed so much to come to this country, to adjust, and to live undocumented for years.
No one is to blame as to why we are in this country. Our parents are not criminals because they wanted us to have brighter opportunities. Just because we don’t have the proper documents to be consider ‘legal’ in this country doesn’t make us less of a human. No one knows the struggles people go through in life. But it is important to not give up hope. That is what I would like to leave with other Dreamers- never give up hope.