More than 200 students at The City University of New York have been awarded scholarships valued at more than $5 million from TheDream.US, the largest amount received by any university in the United States.
The nation’s largest scholarship program for undocumented immigrant youth, TheDream.US, is providing aid to 231 students at CUNY colleges in the five boroughs, more than half of the $10 million in aid the foundation awarded nationally to over 500 students.
Kirssy Martinez, a 2015 valedictorian of Bronx Community College and Dream.US scholarship winner, will use her award to pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science and public policy at City College.
“This is just the beginning,” Martinez said. “You’ve all heard the old saying, ‘The sky is the limit.’ I would add to that, ‘Education is the vehicle.’ ”
The program, the first college scholarship fund created for undocumented immigrant youth – known as DREAMers – awards up to $25,000 for tuition and fees to high school graduates who are first-time college students or community college graduates seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Students must have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status or may also qualify under Temporary Protected Status, or TPS.
“We are deeply grateful to TheDream.US for helping CUNY students fulfill their dream of obtaining a college education,” said CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken. “We also congratulate our CUNY Dream Scholars on their persistence and outstanding academic achievements. These scholarship awards are an investment in our nation’s future.”
Donald Graham, founder of TheDream.US, said: “Every year I encounter DREAMers who are eager to go to college, serve their community and our country. But unlike other students in their high school classes, they do not have access to any of the grants and loans that make college possible for low-income students. TheDream.US is helping these Dreamers continue their education by offering them scholarships to affordable colleges.”
“We believe it is the right thing to do to allow Dreamers to get a college degree – but more important it makes our country stronger and our values firmer,” Graham said.
“These scholarships will empower young immigrants to pursue their own dreams and goals, and I am delighted to partner with TheDream.US to expand the opportunity for more students,” said William Ackman, a donor to TheDream.US who is founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management and co-founder of The Pershing Square Foundation.
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