Undocumented students who are trying to pursue their goal of higher education will be able to learn more about what aid is available to them at the fourth annual DREAM summit sponsored by FIEL Houston on Nov. 17 at University of Houston Downtown, FIEL officials said Monday night.
FIEL Director Cesar Espinoza and Abraham Espinosa, FIEL community protection director, said their organization, which stands for Familias Immigrantes y Estudiantes en la Luchar (Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle), focuses on helping undocumented students and families get knowledge of their rights and privileges. The Espinosa family decided to create the organization because of their struggles they endured as an undocumented family.
The DREAM summit is an event, which targets undocumented students who want financial help to conquer higher education.
‘’Basically, we hold this event every year. Pretty much, it focuses on undocumented students. It’s a part of our education program that we run at FIEL,’’ Abraham Espinosa said. ‘’We do anywhere from higher education to applying for college. It started as a small event by informing students about higher education and financial aid then, it expanded once we started realizing there were more issues to inform to our community,’’ Abraham Espinosa said.
The DREAM summit will be composed by three workshops: financial aid, education and Defer Action.
The event will be free and open for everyone.
‘’ We have information for residence and citizens, but our main focus is for undocumented students,‘’ Cesar Espinosa said.
According to both Espinosas, FIEL is projecting between 400 to 600 students.
‘’ This year is going to be bigger than other years because of the Defer Action, Univision is helping us promote it and the University of Houston Downtown President will project his support,’’ Cesar said.
During the discussion, Abraham Espinosa persuaded the community to help by expressing his experience as a dreamer.
‘’I have been active in immigrants rights since I was 11-years-old. I was a dreamer and still am a dreamer at heart. Fortunately, I was able to legalize my status a year ago but I still consider myself a dreamer and that this is my fight and my life,’’ Abraham Espinosa said. ‘’I didn’t want to sit back and wait to let other people to fix it. I wanted to fix it for myself.’’
FIEL informed there were no requirements to attend the event and volunteers will be accepted. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
‘’We want students to be inform what options they have in college,’’ Abraham Espinosa said.