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“Bea” of California State University- Long Beach is TheDream.US’ “DREAMer of the Week”

For Immediate Release: June 11, 2020

Contact: Carli Kientzle at [email protected]

 

“Bea” of California State University- Long Beach is TheDream.US’ “DREAMer of the Week”

Washington, DC – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, is continuing its “DREAMer of the Week” feature – a weekly profile of a TheDream.US Scholar whose story offers a powerful example of the incalculable contributions of DREAMers to America.

 

This week’s DREAMer is “Bea,” a Graduate of California State University-Long Beach:

TheDream.US is not just a scholarship award. It was also a powerful resource for me to stay informed about legal issues that involve DREAMers and an ongoing source of confidence that I could finish my college degree. Throughout my four years, I knew I was not alone; the people from Dream.US always stood right by my side. During uncertain times, they always gave me encouraging words. They were like a family to me. TheDream.US has created an amazing community that I am so happy to be part of.

Thanks to TheDream.US, I was able to go to California State University and study Civil Engineering. I joined the American Society of Civil Engineers, won engineering awards, and joined my school’s surveying team – I was team captain and made some really nice friends. School was a huge challenge – sometimes I used to stay up to 4 am working, but I enjoyed the challenge and knew the hard work would one day pay off.

This fall, I will be starting my Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering. With a Master’s Degree, there’s a greater likelihood of having a project manager position in a company, which is my dream. I know I will be in a job where I wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work. It won’t even feel like a job because I will be paid for doing what I love.

My parents inspired me to work hard right from when I was a little girl, because I always felt guilty for how hard they worked to make things work for me. Working hard means that I will be able to go to college, find a job and one day provide for my family.

I was just 8 years old when I arrived in this country. At first, I had a very difficult time communicating at school. I felt frustrated not being able to understand English language. I also had a hard time completing my homework because no one at home understood English, so could not help me with it.

When we moved to the U.S., all my parents wanted to do was work. I remember we arrived on a Sunday and by Monday morning, my parents were already working in a jeans factory. They both worked long shifts so they could pay back the money they owed to make the trip here, but this meant I barely saw them. On the rare occasion I did see them, they reminded me that they are working such long hours because they love their children dearly and wanted to give us the best opportunity in America, so we could become ‘someone.’

When I think about the possibility that Congress may not protect DREAMers and those with TPS, it fills me with fear. But I know that instead of being fearful, we should all continue to be united, act and raise awareness on why it is so important. We should utilize the fact we live in a democratic society. DREAMers need to stand united and realize they are part of “We the People of United States.”

As DREAMers, we are not just willing to make this country prosper, many of the DREAMers are giving back to this country that has helped us obtain an education by maintaining a job with their professional career and at the same time volunteering in their community. We are not here to take away jobs. We are here to work all together to continue making this country prosper.

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TheDream.US has provided over 5,000 college scholarships to DREAMers at more than 70 partner colleges in 16 states and Washington, DC.

The Scholars’ stories are especially powerful and poignant following the Supreme Court oral arguments on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an executive action, which provided temporary legal protection for undocumented youth, terminated by President Trump in September 2017. The legal limbo and uncertainty is affecting Scholars’ lives, health, and futures and threatens to keep Scholars from fulfilling their incredible potential.

  • Read through TheDream.US Scholar story-bank, featuring powerful personal reflections from Scholars about their lives, journeys, and future goals here
  • Hear from two TheDream.US graduates, now working as a teacher and a nurse, discussing the impact of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program online here
  • Watch a new video featuring TheDream.US college graduates online here

 

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

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