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Giving my best: One Dreamer’s personal story

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The following personal story is from an undocumented student, a Dreamer, whom attends college in Houston and is finally speaking out to help others in her situation.


Photo by: Katy Umana

In 2004, I passed through the hardest experience of my life. I had received the news that my mother had cancer. She started treatment but the doctors said that she was not going to make it. My siblings and I didn’t see her because she would spend every day at the hospital.

After a long year of fighting against cancer, my mom finally won the battle despite what the doctors said. She now has to undergo treatment for the rest of her life, but we can happily say that she’s cancer free.

My mom wanted to start a new life and experience something different to forget about the devastating illness that imprisoned her for a year. My parents decided that we should live in the U.S. for two years. That would be enough time for my siblings and I to learn English and for my mom to fully recover.

My family and I arrived here on tourist visas in 2005. I enrolled in Houston for my freshman year of high school. It was a very difficult yet interesting year in my life in which I learned a new language, met new people and learned about different cultures.

By the end of my sophomore year, I received recognition for being a honor roll student and for having perfect attendance. My mother was very healthy and everything was fine, but the two years that my family had planned to stay here had ended. My siblings and I were used to living here and we loved school; we didn’t want to leave. My parents realized that in this country we would receive a better education so they decided to prolong our stay.

During my junior year, I became part of the National Honor Roll; I proudly say that my name and my picture are in the National Honor Roll Book of 2008.

In 2009, I applied to the University of Houston while being in the top five of my class with a 4.0 GPA. I was automatically accepted and I also became a member of a program for students in academic achievement.

Now, at the age of 19, I am in my sophomore year of college and I have many plans for the future. Since I was brought here as a child, my plans and goals are in this country. However, there is a problem, I came here on a tourist visa and I’m “illegal”. This is starting to interfere with my dreams and goals. There are many things that I lack: a license, a good job, the opportunity of applying to scholarships or internships because of my legal status, complete freedom and many others. That is why I’ve become a Dreamer.

The DREAM Act will change my life by giving me the opportunity to obtain the things that I want and to be able to give more to this country. I’ve given my best to this country and I want to continue that way.

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