Jose Morales-Noriega remembers the day his life changed. Two years ago, he was having fun riding an ATV driven by a friend. They were going downhill pretty fast when the four-wheeler lost traction.
They were thrown off and the ATV landed on him.
“I had a big knee injury where I blew out my knee, all three ligaments,” he said.
Morales-Noriega, 23, was working as a roofer at the time but after months of physical therapy, he decided to switch careers. He went back to school and got a certificate to be a medical assistant.
“I really like it,” he said. “Sometimes I get to put on a cast or take off stitches, sutures, or staples.”
Morales-Noriega is originally from Mexico. When he was around 10, he immigrated to Aurora with his family. He’s been working for the past six years, ever since he got his DACA status which gives him a work permit and protection from being deported.
The Supreme Court recently blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The program allows recipients to work and offers them temporary protection from deportation.
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.