For Immediate Release: July 22, 2021
Contact: Michael Earls: [email protected]
Newest Class of TheDream.US Scholars Offer Reminders Why We Should Expand Opportunities for DREAMers
Only 23% of new National Scholars and 32% of new Opportunity Scholars reported active DACA status, underscoring urgency of congressional legislation
Washington, DC – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college and career success program for immigrant youth, today announced that more than 1,200 new TheDream.US Scholars have accepted scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year to attend at least 61 different Partner Colleges across 16 states, Washington, DC and online. This includes 1,098 National Scholars, for first-time immigrant youth college students or community college graduates to attend a Partner College in their state, and 108 Opportunity Scholars, for immigrant youth who live in targeted, locked-out states where they cannot access in-state tuition.
The new class reflects the organization’s commitment to serve DREAMers who were not yet old enough to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program when the Trump administration barred new applicants into DACA starting in 2017. Among the new class, only 23% of the new National Scholars and 32% of the new Opportunity Scholars reported active DACA status at the time of their application. By comparison, 89% of the cohort of older TheDream.US Scholars graduating this academic year and celebrated at our recent virtual graduation had DACA.
“Our newest class of TheDream.US Scholars offer a reminder that immigrant youth have persevered and remain committed to pursuing higher education despite the many obstacles in their way,” said Gaby Pacheco, Director of Advocacy, Development, and Communications at TheDream.US. “Their stories are reminders why we should expand opportunities for DREAMers, including through policies addressing higher education affordability and access and by Congress finally building on the success of DACA to enact legislation offering immigrant youth the chance to be formally recognized as American citizens. This is especially urgent in the aftermath of Judge Hanen’s recent ruling on DACA and the reality that DREAMers still are not able to plan their futures in the United States with confidence.”
According to Tatiana Bartolomeu de Faria, set to attend Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, “I feel empowered by TheDream.US believing in me and my education. The support through this program is pivotal in this journey as it also provides a sense of belonging within a community of others with similar stories. I will be studying for my Bachelors in Psychology starting at Valencia College and transferring to the University of Central Florida. I have the hope of then pursuing my Masters in Child and Family Counseling to become a practicing licensed therapist. I want to help children and their families learn to navigate through familial issues and complex trauma. Whether it’s immigration related trauma, or any type of grief, I want to help people find the best tools to communicate their needs, provide them with healthy coping strategies, play therapy, and holistic healing.”
According to Yeimi Umaña, a new Scholar set to attend Hunter College in New York, “When I first received the email that I was now a TheDream.US Scholar, I was in denial, I could not believe it, and I kept re-reading the email to make sure what I was reading was indeed right. I started crying as I started to realize that all my hard work was worth it. Even though I am still early in my college journey, I am heading towards a career in medicine and healthcare, and plan on majoring in pre-nursing.”
Relevant statistics about TheDream.US Scholars starting in the 2021-2022 academic year:
- 1,098 individuals have accepted National Scholarships and an additional 108 have accepted Opportunity Scholarships
- Median age of arrival to U.S.: 4 years old (National) and 4 years old (Opportunity)
- First in family to attend college percentage: 83% (National) and 82% (Opportunity)
- Countries of origin: 65 different countries of origin (National) and 11 (Opportunity)
- States of residency: 30 states and Washington, DC (National) and 9 states (Opportunity)
Find more information and a deeper dive statistical snapshot of the new Scholars class at: https://www.thedream.us/impact/ourdata/
Watch our recent video featuring highlights from TheDream.US virtual commencement celebrating the graduation of more than 1,000 TheDream.US Scholars. The video features remarks from TheDream.US graduate and alumni speakers as well as those of Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States, who was the guest speaker during the virtual commencement and told the graduates, “We know you have so much to contribute to this nation in the days ahead … We stand with you. Never stop dreaming.”
TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for immigrant youth, having provided more than 7,500 college scholarships to DREAMers attending over 75 partner colleges in 19 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 future.