Romina Montenegro, 18, from Florida, born in Argentina.
DREAMers help make this country move. We are strong, determined, and fierce pursuers of our goals. I want other DREAMers to fight for a chance to receive higher education. It is worth it – for all of us in this country. My family moved from Argentina to Miami in October of 2001, when I was just two years old. My brother and sister were not able to attend college. My dad has done construction work since he arrived at the States, and my mother is a disabled housewife. We currently live at the poverty level, making saving for college unfathomable. My parents gave up their large family, the equivalent of university degrees of Argentina, and their home to seek a better future for their kids. I’ve always known I was undocumented and that I had no way of legalizing my status. But it wasn’t until I was applying to scholarships and schools that I fully realized how my immigration status influenced nearly every aspect of the process for me. I went to an all girls’ public high school. There, I had a wonderful teacher who helped me through panic attacks, sadness, and worries about my sexuality and immigration status. During high school, I was very involved in my church, volunteering, and was on the community swim team. I was also in a free orchestra program for kids at a local recreational center, where I was the main piano player. When I was accepted into Florida International University, my parents and I cried tears of joy. Not long after, the reality of finances set in, and I began scouring the internet for scholarships. I came across TheDream.US, and knew that I needed to apply. With DACA and TheDream.US, I feel as though I have a chance at the life that my parents dreamed about when they moved to America. I plan to study Public Administration, so I can give back to the community that raised me. I have benefitted in ways that I never thought possible thanks to DACA and TheDream.US, and I pledge to never take these chances for granted.