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TheDream.US Announces Gaby Pacheco as New President and CEO


For Immediate Release: October 18, 2023

Contact: Michael Earls at [email protected] 

TheDream.US Announces Gaby Pacheco as New President and CEO 

Prominent “Dreamer” Leader and Education Advocate Appointed to Lead Nation’s Largest College Access Program for Immigrant Youth

Washington, DC – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, announced today that Gaby Pacheco will become the new president and CEO of the organization. Earlier this month, TheDream.US announced that Candy Marshall, president of the organization throughout the ten years of its existence, was transitioning to the role of Senior Advisor. 

Ms. Pacheco (bio here) has worked for TheDream.US throughout its entire decade of existence, most recently as the organization’s Director of Advocacy, Development, and Communications. A powerful advocate for expanding educational opportunities, Ms. Pacheco also is a prominent “Dreamer” leader, including helping to draw broader attention to Dreamers as one of three young immigrants who marched from Miami to Washington as part of the Trail of Dreams in 2010.

According to Gaby Pacheco, incoming president and CEO of TheDream.US: 

“Like many Dreamers, I grew up in this nation, attended its schools, and received the gift of education thanks to believers in our potential. Today, I am one of many Dreamers helping our nation grow and thrive, joining thousands who are serving as teachers, doctors, lawyers, business owners, and community leaders. 

As I step into my role at this pivotal time for our organization and our students, I reflect on my own journey from an undocumented student to a U.S. citizen and now President and CEO of TheDream.US. I understand the challenges our newest class of Scholars face, as 80 percent lack DACA or TPS.  Like me, our Scholars have a lot to offer if given the opportunity to help our nation grow and thrive.

This role is not just a responsibility; it’s a privilege, and I am committed to ensuring that we continue to open doors, break down barriers, and empower Dreamers to reach their full potential, adding their unique voices and talents to the diverse chorus that is our nation. Together, TheDream.US will build on the first decade of its success and create a legacy that transcends our time, one where Dreamers can dream without limits, and our nation thrives on the strength of their dreams.”

Don Graham, co-founder of TheDream.US, said: “I’ve worked with Gaby Pacheco every day for ten years. Dreamers have no better advocate. She is as wise as she is passionate in their cause. She will make a great leader of the excellent team at TheDream.US. A college education for these students, who have been in the US, on average since they were 4, is good for the students – and good for the rest of us.  They are strongly motivated. Now more than ever the work that TheDream.US set out to do almost 10 years ago is critical. Nursing and other healthcare majors are a top field of study among our Scholars – and healthcare workers as others are desperately needed in every state.”

Dr. Eduardo Padron, President Emeritus of Miami Dade College and TheDream.US Advisory Board Member, stated: “Having known Gaby since her days as an exemplary student at Miami Dade College, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing her transformation into an inspiration for Florida students and Dreamers across the nation. Her unwavering dedication and fervor for expanding educational opportunities for all is precisely why she is destined to be an exceptional President and CEO at TheDream.US.”

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said: “Gaby has been committed to the success of TheDream.US since its beginning in 2014, working diligently to help the organization flourish, and we know the experience she has accumulated has equipped her to carry TheDream.US forward and expand the impact of its vital mission. CUNY was proud to help pilot the scholarship program and has been grateful for the life-changing support it has since given to thousands of undocumented Americans who may otherwise have been unable to reap the irreplaceable benefits of a college education. Congratulations to Gaby and to TheDream.US on its selection of a highly skilled and very capable new leader.”  

Sadhana Singh, TheDream.US Senior Communications Manager and a former Scholar from Trinity Washington University, said: “Working alongside Gaby Pacheco over the past several years has been an invaluable and enriching professional experience. Whether through her active engagement and dedicated involvement in the immigrant community or offering steadfast support from a distance, Gaby has consistently embodied the dual roles of a committed leader and an inspiring role model with grace and compassion. As an enduring champion of Dreamers, she combines a creative and strategic intellect with a compassionate heart, boundless energy, and an unwavering commitment to empowering undocumented immigrants. As both my colleague and friend, Gaby has mentored and guided me, contributing to my personal and professional growth. Her impact on me mirrors the profound influence she has on our Scholars. In her new role, I have no doubt that she will continue to illuminate the path towards a brighter future for all of us.”

Anaysa Navarrete, a TheDream.US Scholar and CUNY student, said: “As a current Scholar, witnessing Gaby Pacheco’s appointment as the president and CEO of TheDream.US is nothing short of inspirational. Her relentless journey as an immigrant rights advocate resonates deeply with many of us, reminding us of the power of resilience and determination. Gaby’s story, from being a Dreamer and DACA recipient to becoming the new president and CEO, is a testament to the boundless possibilities that await those who dream and persevere. As a Latina woman taking the lead, she not only represents hope for immigrant communities but also embodies the limitless potential of women in leadership. This isn’t just another professional milestone; it’s a personal triumph, not only for Gaby but for all of us who have followed her journey.”


  • Read more quotes from key TheDream.US supporters, allies, Scholars, and alumni reacting to the appointment of Gaby Pacheco as President and CEO: LINK
  • TheDream.US, which will celebrate its 10th Anniversary in February 2024, will open its newest scholarship round for potential Dreamer applicants on November 1, 2023. Learn more here.

About TheDream.US

TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, having provided more than 10,000 college scholarships to Dreamers attending over 80 partner colleges in 21 states and Washington, DC. We believe everyone, regardless of where they were born, should have equitable access to a college education, a meaningful career, and opportunities to contribute to the communities they call home. For more information on TheDream.US, visit www.thedream.us