“I came to the United States from Guatemala when I was 9 years old, but I didn’t find out I was undocumented until I was 17 and ready to go to college. With a 4.0 in hand, I was preparing to apply to California’s top schools but as I was going through the process, I found out that I didn’t have a social security number. It hit me like a bat to realize that even if I graduated from college, I couldn’t work as a professional.
“I took a leap of faith and went to college anyway. Often I would wonder if going to college was the right decision but I knew that I loved learning and I loved going to school. When I found out about DACA, I was so happy to be able to do the little things, like check out books from the local library with my new ID. Knowing that the administration somehow understood my situation even though they didn’t know me personally was an incredible feeling. Today, I have a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Southern California.
“I’m very proud of the work that I do as the Statewide Youth Organizer for CHIRLA’s California Dream Network. I get to train other young people to rise up as organizers and to be a voice for immigrants and young people who are undocumented. I want undocumented young immigrants everywhere to know that I am here for them and that they are not alone. We’ve come so far and this is not the time to go back into the shadows. I urge Congress to do their job and pass the Dream Act now.”