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“Sophia” of Christian Brothers University is TheDream.US’ “DREAMer of the Week”

For Immediate Release: October 1, 2020
Contact: Gaby Rodriguez at [email protected]


“Sophia” of Christian Brothers University 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.

This week’s DREAMer is “Sophia” a Scholar of Christian Brothers University: 

I think the hardest thing about adjusting to my new life was learning English and feeling like I was always behind the other kids. This drove me to keep pushing myself to do better. In high school, due to my status, I began to think college wasn’t an option for me. However, an organization named U-Lead offers help for undocumented and first generation students. I always felt welcomed by all the volunteers and mentors, who have really helped me. They introduced me to TheDream.US, and, without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Getting my degree is important to me, because I want to set an example for my siblings. I’d like to use my education to find a career that can financially support my parents and my brothers. My parents never finished high school, and I will be the first one in my family to attend college. Without this access to higher education, I would probably be working full time. And without this scholarship, I didn’t have any plan but to keep working hard.

As a child, my parents were always scared of law enforcement and immigration enforcement, and they still are. I always knew I was undocumented, but I was never afraid to share my status unless my parents told me not. I would tell other kids I was from Mexico, and they would say I didn’t have any “papeles.” The weight of my status – or lack thereof – didn’t really hit me until I wanted to get a driver’s license and work like other teenagers. When DACA was first introduced, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I thought I could finally be a normal teenager. I feel like my life in Mexico would have been very different than my life is right now. I did grow up in a southern state Georgia, but I didn’t really know why that was significant until I got older. As I grew up, I knew I could call both Mexico and Georgia my home.

My parents first decided to travel to the United States when I was around six years old.  I remember being very excited to be reunited with my grandparents and other family who had come to the United States before us.  In order for my family to come to the United States, my father had to come a few months earlier, so he could earn money to support my mother and his children. When we first arrived, we began to live with my grandparents and my mother’s siblings. My younger brothers and I used to share a bedroom with my parents. In total, we were living in a 4-bedroom house with around 11 people. We left everything behind to be united and for a brighter future.


TheDream.US has provided over 6,500 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.

  • 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