For Immediate Release: January 16, 2020
Contact: Carli Kientzle at [email protected]
Santisha of Broward College 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. TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, having provided 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.
This week’s DREAMer is Santisha, a Scholar of Broward College:
When you’re undocumented, applying to colleges and universities is an especially painful process. I sat and stared at my unfinished college applications and cried. They were nearly finished – aside from the citizenship section. When I finally found a college willing to give me a chance, I didn’t have money to afford it. Then, I received TheDream.US scholarship, and everything changed. College is finally a possibility.
I am a first generation college student. At Broward College, I plan to study nursing. I want to help those that don’t have access to the proper healthcare, be passionate about my work, and serve as a role model for my four siblings.
When I was just four years old, my family came from the Bahamas to the States. The first few years were really difficult. I was jealous of the kids around me. I was teased, because my accent was different and made me stand out. My mom had to work long hours with little pay and tolerated disrespectful bosses and coworkers, because it is not easy to work without proper documentation. Once, we were even conned by someone who claimed they would help us receive documentation. My mother sacrificed so much to provide us with a good life.
The most stressful thing about living without documentation is the risk of being deported. Things in America are drastically changing. There’s no telling what will happen tomorrow or the next day. However, I want other undocumented students to know: even when things seem to not be going to well, keep faith that it will get better. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! There are organizations like TheDream.US that will help you achieve all that you dream about.
- 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