Logo for: TheDream.us

Erik Cruz Morales

Age of Arrival: 8 years old

Hometown: Teaneck, NJ

Degree: Public Administration & Nonprofit Management

I feel that Dreamers are as American as all citizens in the country. We contribute, we work, we create, we employ, we serve, we are visionaries, we are more than just dreamers.


We stand for equality, and for basic human rights and we pride ourselves in being part of this great nation. We are more civically engaged than most folks; we care about the issues affecting our communities. And a significant percentage of us go to school, receive higher education and want to make a difference in the country.


That is just one reason it is so terrifying, and very frustrating, seeing that nothing is getting done to resolve DACA, which allows me to drive and work legally in the U.S.


It always has been a sacrifice, and until this day it continues to be a sacrifice, to be an immigrant in this country. I came here at age eight with my two twin sisters, who were just three years old, and my mother. My adjustment here was tough, it was a complete change – different language, different food, different culture.


Being a TheDream.US Scholar changed my life completely. It gave me the opportunity to attend college, and from there to have more opportunities to follow my dreams. Next Spring I will graduate with my Masters after I received a grad school scholarship from my undergraduate university, Rutgers. I also work full time while pursuing my Master’s degree. After grad school, I’d like to go to law school, then work for the government and maybe even run for political office someday.

My college experience provided me with great opportunities and a very supportive environment that actively helped the immigrant community. I graduated with a degree in Public Administration & Nonprofit Management with a 3.89 GPA. I’ve been involved with the campus group for Dreamers, the political science honors society, and other organizations on campus. I’ve also already put my degree into practice through a series of internships – at the American Civil Liberties Union of NJ, with a local Assemblyman, and with the district office of a New Jersey Member of Congress.

I’d like to tell younger Dreamers to never give up and to know that there are always people who will be supporting you in the college journey. It is very easy to lose focus and get discouraged, but nothing in life is linear. Stay focused and know that you can make it. Work hard and things will come.


I have two younger twin sisters that just graduated from high school and are inspired, motivated and ready to make an impact, in college and in my community. I know that their story, and the younger generation’s, is just beginning