If it was a normal graduation, Indira Islas may have been speaking from a podium. She’d probably feel her parents watching her, but their faces would blur in the crowd.
But the world is not normal. So Islas sits on her living room couch on a Saturday afternoon in Gainesville, Georgia, and practices her speech. Her family is in the next room because she doesn’t want to feel them watching her, get nervous and mess up. She’s about to give the commencement speech she’s practiced for weeks, including the part where she always gets stuck.
Islas is a 2020 graduate of Delaware State University. She’s one of seven children. She sneaks past campus security to study in the lab after hours, and she’ll go out and get fast food with her friends at 2 a.m.
She’s a “Dreamer.”
TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, having provided more than 5,000 college scholarships to DREAMers at more than 70 partner colleges in 16 states and Washington, DC. We believe that all young Americans, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to get a college education and pursue a meaningful career that contributes to our country’s prosperity.