Scholar Featured on US News
By Gaby Pacheco July 8, 2019
In the article, “Meet America’s Patriots–They volunteer for the military. They create jobs. They help their communities. They are U.S. immigrants, by Susan Milligan, published on July 5, 2019, it read:
Cesia Bulnes didn’t have a choice about coming to America. Her parents brought her here when she was 3 years old. Her father’s business had gone bankrupt, so he brought his family to the U.S. – legally, Bulnes says – to help his daughter get an education and opportunity she could not get in her Central American birthplace. The legalization process didn’t work out, she says, so the family lost its legal status. Gang violence began to pop up in Honduras, and her extended family was targeted.
“My dad had to make a decision of whether to go back or stay,” Bulnes says. Facing the choice of extreme physical danger in Honduras and a fear of being deported in the U.S., the family decided to stay, she says.
Without legal status, Bulnes was not eligible for college financial aid, despite having legal status as a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program She was awarded a full scholarship by TheDream.US, an organization that takes its name from the DREAM Act legislative proposal and which promotes college access for DACA recipients. The 22-year-old Bulnes graduated this year from Florida International University with a degree in computer science and a job offer from Microsoft. At FIU, Bulnes, who graduated with honors, found her passion for computer science by participating in “hackathons” for programmers, including the 36-hour Mangohacks that bills itself as promoting innovation and cooperation among participants. During breaks, Bulnes talked to other female students about succeeding in the tech world. She’s also rung the bell to open trading at the Nasdaq.
“What resonated to me the most was when a U.S. veteran came to me and told me that was one of the proudest moments he had, being an American. I’m not really considered an American in this country by many people,” Bulnes adds. “I realized that if a ‘Dreamer’ can catch someone’s heart like that – a veteran who fought for this country – that really touched my heart.”
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