For Immediate Release: May 7, 2020
Contact: Carli Kientzle at [email protected]
Luis of Western Oregon 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.
This week’s DREAMer is Luis, a Scholar of Western Oregon University:
I am a first generation college student and the second to graduate from high school. Last spring, I graduated from high school and from an associate’s degree program. The persistence I learned from my parents and my school counselor allowed me to achieve my goal of finishing community college while attending high school.
My counselor told me about TheDream.US without which I would not be able to afford Western Oregon University. My goal for this next chapter in life is to build connections and relationships with people that will be great friends in the future. Most importantly, I want to obtain a degree and make my mother proud. To anyone considering applying for TheDream.Us, I would encourage them to do so, and I would tell them that anything is possible. Just keep gripping onto your dreams and never let go!
With my education, I want to build connections with business and political leaders, so one day I can start my own competitive business. I am very grateful for the opportunities TheDream.US has given me, although the fear of being an undocumented citizen still gives me a great deal of anxiety. If I were to lose my status, I would no longer have access to a life sustaining job. Given my state of current uncertainty, it is extremely important that I graduate college. I don’t want to live a life full of obstacles working in the fields. My parents envisioned a great future for us, and I plan on making that a reality. I know that I will take my education and make a difference in America. I am a determined and hardworking individual who is willing to fight and die for what I love: my friends, my family, and the United States, my home.
When I was three years old, my mom, dad, sister and I immigrated to Oregon. My mom and dad had to leave their families in Mexico in the hopes of building something better for us, their children. They grew up extremely poor, and unwilling to commit us to a similar life, they decided to come to the United States. Both of my parents are undocumented, and my sister and I have been blessed with DACA. My youngest sister was born in the United States. Both of my parents are employed as labor workers, cleaning fields.
Throughout my childhood, it is difficult seeing my parents wake up at 3 in the morning every single day to go to work. But, it really broke my heart, to see my parents scorned for not being able to speak English. Despite the hardships for my family, I still consider America to be my home.
TheDream.US has provided over 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.
- Read through TheDream.US Scholar story-bank, featuring powerful personal reflections from Scholars about their lives, journeys, and future goals here
- Hear from two TheDream.US graduates, now working as a teacher and a nurse, discussing the impact of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program online here
- Watch a new video featuring TheDream.US college graduates online here