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TheDream.US Celebrates College Graduations of 750 Additional Dreamers

For Immediate Release: May 26, 2023
Contact: Michael Earls at 202-494-8555 or [email protected]

Washington, DC – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, is proud to celebrate the graduations of approximately 750 TheDream.US Scholars from more than 65 Partner Colleges this academic year. The graduating cohort includes Scholars born in 54 countries across the world but with a median age of arrival in the U.S. of just four years old. 86% are first-generation college graduates.

The following is a statement from Gaby Pacheco, Director of Advocacy, Communications, and Development of TheDream.US: 

The vast majority of our Scholars are first-generation college students, who faced significant barriers to receiving a college education. Despite access and affordability obstacles for Dreamers, despite the ongoing legal limbo over the future of the DACA program, and despite ongoing legislative dysfunction that has blocked a permanent solution addressing Dreamers’ status, our Scholars have persevered, succeeded, and now graduated. 

No matter the future of court rulings and other policy developments, no one can ever take away these hard-earned degrees from the newly graduating Scholars or more than 3,000 of their fellow TheDream.US alumni. We send our love, admiration, and support to each and every graduating Scholar. Every one of you is an inspiration and example for why we should expand and extend more opportunities for Dreamers.

According to Hyein Lee, TheDream.US Director of Programs & Evaluation:

Graduation season is one of my favorite times of year, as we celebrate the incredible successes and potential of graduating TheDream.US Scholars. This year, we are proud that 750 additional Scholars can now call themselves college graduates, poised to put their degrees to work to strengthen their communities and the country. A combined 60% of our graduates majored in STEM (28%), health and medicine (17%), or business (15%) and they are ready to fill workforce needs in fast growing industries all across America.

Watch a new video celebrating the 2023 TheDream.US graduates and featuring remarks from TheDream.US co-founder Donald Graham and images from graduation celebrations across the country. 

Below, read reflections from TheDream.US Scholars who are part of the new graduating cohort:

Angel, a graduate of Grand Canyon University in Arizona: “After a four-year journey with many ups and downs, I’m proud to call myself a first-generation graduate. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my parents, family, friends, GCU’s faculty, and especially TheDream.US & its founders/donors. This scholarship has allowed me to graduate debt-free, make connections, and get one step closer to achieving my dreams! SI SE PUDO!!!”

Karla, a graduate of University of North Texas at Dallas: “Through TheDream.US, I was able to travel on a plane for the first time, obtain various internship opportunities, became a conference panelist and got to meet so many important people, some who are now lifelong friends. I appreciate every single door that this scholarship opened for me. I am so grateful to have been a Scholar.” 

Brian, a graduate of Christian Brothers University in Tennessee: “Thank you so much to TheDream.US for making my big dream of graduating college possible. The 7th grade undocumented student with a dream is beyond grateful and happy now.”

Azucena, a graduate of Trinity Washington University: “This momentous occasion is dedicated to my family whose selfless sacrifices and unconditional love have been the driving force behind my academic success. I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to TheDream.US for their unwavering support in helping us overcome barriers and making our educational endeavors a reality. Lastly, I extend my deepest appreciation to Trinity’s dedicated faculty, advisors, and mentors who have empowered and amplified my strength, resilience, and power as a first-generation Mexican immigrant.” 

Brandon, a graduate of University of North Texas at Dallas: “TheDream.US believed in me when the rest of society didn’t. It has given me the opportunity to follow my dreams and be the first one in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Stephany Alejandra, graduating from Baruch College in New York: “I am an immigrant and the daughter of one, I am a first-generation student and a young independent woman, I am the language of tortillas and pizzas, and I am from the country where kids build mud cakes and climb on trees. I will never forget where I came from so I do not forget where I’m heading, with integrity I intend to continue forward being proud of my roots. Thank you to everyone working hard at the Dream.US, you gave me hope and you helped me become empowered. TheDream.US makes it possible to rise with power and unity. Si se pudo! Más que todo, gracias mami y hermanita!”

Karen, graduating from University of Illinois Chicago (UIC): “I am proud to have been a TheDream.US Scholar! I will always cherish the memories and experiences that this scholarship has provided me and my family. I am excited to begin the next chapter of my life and make a positive impact in my community.”

About TheDream.US

TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, having provided more than 8,750 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 

Meet TheDream.US Graduates

TheDream.US has more than 3,800 graduates who are driven, resilient, and helping move our shared country forward. They are nurses, teachers, authors, computer scientists, research scientists, business entrepreneurs, nurses, policy analysts, social justice workers – all contributing to the social and economic prosperity of this country. Their stories are ones of resilience and determination. Meet some of TheDream.US graduates and their stories here