For Immediate Release: September 24, 2020
Contact: Gaby Rodriguez at [email protected]
Mario of Grand Canyon 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 Mario, a Scholar of Grand Canyon University:
I’ve come to learn that home is where my family is. I was born in Mexico but came to the United States when I was 5 with my family. America is our home; where we grew up, faced challenges and celebrated victories. Out of the eight in our family, I was the first to go to college, a first-generation student.
I found out about my undocumented status in middle school. I remember worrying that I may not be able to carve out a future for myself because of it. During that time, my family struggled financially. I watched as my parents crunched numbers late at night. But from tough times, I found hope. Together, with our motivation and hard work, I knew we could face life’s difficulties. My immigration status should not stop me from pursuing my dreams, so I found the same motivation and hard work my parents had to make a living here.
When I found out that I had received TheDream.US scholarship, I was overjoyed. DACA and TheDream.US have changed the course of my life. I am currently studying Biological Specializations at Phoenix College, a degree that will allow me to pursue my passions in science and medicine.
In middle school and high school, I made friends that I will have for life. They encouraged me and reminded me to have faith when I started to doubt that I could succeed here. Their support brought home how important it is to have people on your side. That is one reason I want to become a mentor for others, especially DREAMers who are seeking to attend college.
I would like to tell all DREAMers – and all people – to never give up hope. If they keep striving, they can achieve their dreams. It is never easy, but their hard work will not be in vain.
TheDream.US has provided over 6,500 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