For Immediate Release: April 13, 2018
Contact: Michael Earls at 202-494-8555 and [email protected]
TheDream.US Reacts to NJ Assembly Passage of Tuition Assistance Bill for DREAMers
Gaby Pacheco: “What’s good for DREAMers in New Jersey is good for the future potential of all of New Jersey”
Washington, DC – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, issued the following statement reacting to the New Jersey General Assembly’s passage of legislation extending in-state financial aid to DREAMers in the state. Following the earlier passage of the bill by the New Jersey Senate, the vote in the Assembly means that the bill will go to the desk of the supportive Gov. Phil Murphy, who has pledged to sign a tuition assistance bill for DREAMers into law.
According to Gaby Pacheco, Director of Advocacy, Development, and Communications at TheDream.US: “We commend the state of New Jersey for taking a meaningful step towards helping all New Jersey students, no matter where they were born, access an education and fulfill their potential. What’s good for DREAMers in New Jersey is good for the future potential of all of New Jersey. We thank the DREAMers, advocates, and elected officials who worked tirelessly to support this legislation and we look forward to joining with them in celebration when Governor Murphy signs this important bill into law.”
The step forward in New Jersey is particularly powerful in contrast to the inability of the U.S. Congress to resolve DREAMers crisis – inaction that is negatively affecting DREAMers’ lives, health, and futures. TheDream.US, which has provided more than 3,000 scholarships to students with DACA and TPS at more than 75 partner colleges in 15 states and Washington, DC, has committed more than $103 million in scholarship money for DREAMers across the country.
This includes New Jersey Scholars such as Yossy, who grew up in New Jersey after moving from Peru at a young age and attends Rutgers-Newark. Yossy, who has a job offer from a Big Four accounting firm, says, “I want other DREAMers to know that they are not defined by their status, and should not feel held back because of it. They can excel and change the world if they set their minds to it. Also, never forget where you came from, instead, pay it forward to others just as people have helped you” (Read more about Yossy’s story here).
And Ariana, who came to America when she was 10 months old, grew up in Union County, and now attends college in Essex County. Ariana, “would love for other DREAMers to know that they are strong, and worthy of an education. But they must stay the course and keep hope, because the journey will seldom be easy.” Ariana shares a “deep gratitude for the opportunities that have been afforded me through DACA and TheDream.US. I will use them to contribute to America, my home” (read more about Ariana’s story here).
Across the country, TheDream.US Scholars have proven themselves motivated and successful. TheDream.US Scholars have thrived academically on their campuses, with National Scholars averaging a 3.2 GPA and Opportunity Scholars averaging a 3.56 GPA, compared to the 3.15 average GPA students achieve at public and private colleges across the country. Additionally, TheDream.US Scholars have demonstrated amazing persistence, with 94% of Scholars returning to their schools after their first year, compared to the 72% average rate of return after first year for students at all U.S. colleges and universities.