Being that I don’t have any official immigration paperwork to establish myself in the United States, I am not eligible for student loans. Ten years ago, my family fell to a fraudulent lawyer, whom manipulated my family into thinking he had reapplied for our visas. Since then, I have been struggling to find a legal way to stay home.
In 2012, as I approached high school graduation, my biggest concern was to continue my education, but I was faced with a similar challenge. Although I was a Florida resident, I feared that I would not be able to apply for an undergraduate program. Thankfully, President Obama passed the Deffered Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), which allows me to work and be a student legally. Due to my status, the full expense of my degree fell on my shoulders. I had to quickly learn how to juggle multiple jobs full-time and become a full-time student, while developing a competitive dental school application.
I am very fortunate to have been given great opportunities throughout my life that I didn’t think was possible. After going through countless legal paperwork, I was able to study abroad in Florence, Italy and London, England. I presented academic research, shadowed multiple dentists, and volunteered in my community. Every one of these experiences has kept me inspired and persevered in reaching my career goal.
Now that my vision is finally within reach, my hand has fallen short. I have the amazing opportunity to attend my dream school, University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco. I attended interviews, toured the campus, met up with my potential roommates, and felt the exciting rush of a new life ahead of me. When I found out that I would not be eligible for a loan, I knew that there had to be more options, and this is my last resort.
I want to help bring awareness to the struggles that DACA students have to deal with, as well as free myself from the restraint that always leaves me one step behind. Please know that this isn’t just about the monetary assistance. It’s about taking action to shed light upon this cause. So many of the other DACA students that I have met have such great potential to be a high-contributing part of the community, and a great representation of this country.
If you can find it in your heart to give and support my education, I promise to not fail you or myself. This money will solely go to the expenses of college tuition. I plan to give back and show the compassion and generosity that was shown to me in the future, as soon as I have the means. I ask that if you don’t have the finances to help, that you please share my story and help me accomplish my dream. I am forever grateful, whatever the outcome may be.
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