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Jandy Simental

Age of Arrival: 1 year old

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

Degree: Architecture

 

I am so thankful for TheDream.US, not just for helping me, but for helping so many others like me. Without this organization, I wouldn’t have access to these incredible educational opportunities. Opportunities that will change and better my life. Similarly, I wouldn’t be where I am today without DACA. DACA gifted me a work permit and allowed me to achieve the teenage milestone of obtaining a driver’s license, which I know many undocumented teens aren’t able to do. Most importantly, I wouldn’t be able to continue my education without the help of both DACA and TheDream.US.

 

I plan to study architecture, and I hope to design and build a new church for my community. Currently, members of my church congregate in a garage. The church is a major part of so many people’s lives in our community, and it deserves a proper home.

 

As a child, I would spend my Sundays at my local Spanish church, and we spoke exclusively Spanish in my household. By the time I was ready for kindergarten, I knew little English, and it was hard for me to communicate and make friends at school. I was, however, lucky to attend an incredible elementary school with driven teachers, who helped me quickly learn the language and succeed in the classroom.

 

Growing up, my mother never tried to hide the truth – I’ve always known that I am undocumented. It’s a part of my identity, and it has shaped who I am today.  However, for my entire life, I’ve also considered the United States my home, and I wouldn’t want to have grown up anywhere else.

 

My mother and I came to Texas when I was just a year old. She came over with few possessions, just a goal to make it to America with hopes of a better life. I am the oldest of three children, and, when I start school this fall, I will be my family’s first generation college student.

 

Throughout high school, I flourished as an athlete. I played soccer, softball, basketball, and I ran on the cross country team. Not only was I active in sports, I was also part of the art club, National Honor Society and the Architecture Construction Program. Now, I am able to continue my studies and reach for my goals with the help of my past educators and The Dream.US.

 

My hope is that for anyone skeptical about the need for DACA to put themselves in our shoes. As someone who has been in the United States for my entire life and calls it home, it’s terrifying to consider the possibility of living in a country that I don’t know. I wouldn’t ever want to leave my family behind, and I have so much to look forward to at college and beyond.

 

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

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