For Immediate Release: December 5, 2019
Contact: Carli Kientzle at [email protected]
Bryan of Delaware State University 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. TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, having provided 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.
This week’s DREAMer is Bryan, a Scholar of Delaware State University:
When I found out I received TheDream.US scholarship, my goals changed – they became much bigger.
My family came to the United States when I was less than a year old, so America has always been my home. My mom and my stepdad never finished middle school, which makes me a first generation college student in my family.
Growing up in America was difficult at times. We lived in the poorest county in our state, and my parents sent much of the money they earned back to Mexico, to help our other family members.
When I was 15, I was diagnosed with cancer, and my entire family’s life changed. My mom had to quit her job to be there for me while I was undergoing treatment, leaving my dad to be the sole provider for almost two years. He rarely had the day off. At times, I felt like I was causing so much pain and suffering to the people supporting me, and I always felt like people pitied my family – which I hated.
My friend Cesar really helped me through. He would sometimes come with me to chemotherapy to give my mom a break. He was really helpful during the hardest time in my life.
Thankfully, I’m in remission now, and I can do more of the things I love, like playing soccer. When I came back to my soccer team, I asked my coach to treat me like any other player, and he has. With the help of people like my coach, I’ve had things to focus on that make me feel like a normal kid.
After school I waited tables at a local restaurant to help my family pay for my hospital bills. But that hasn’t kept me from prioritizing my academics.
I graduated high school with honors and an associates degree in Electrical Systems Technology also with honors. Now, I plan to continue my education and work towards a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering at Delaware State.
One day, I want to have my own engineering firm. I hope to be a successful business owner and be able to give my family the life they deserve.
- Read through TheDream.US Scholar story-bank, featuring powerful personal reflections from Scholars about their lives, journeys, and future goals here
- Watch a new video featuring TheDream.US college graduates online here