Supporting Our Dreamers

September 7th, 2017 · No Comments

As we awaited the Trump Administration's announcement on the fate of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), we thought about every student in our program, and the hundreds of thousands of other young people, that would be impacted. For many of them, DACA provided them a chance to breathe, to adopt "lawful status” in the country they call home. It allowed them to work, get funding for school, obtain a driver’s license, and remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Since the inception of the High Hopes Scholarship Program, BCF has supported undocumented students. Every Dreamer that has gone through our program is either in school or working. Each one of them embodies the purpose and values of our program: helping talented students with limited resources achieve their college and career goals.

This year, one of the High Hopes Scholars working in our office as a program assistant is a DACA recipient. He is a junior majoring in engineering at San Francisco State. His parents brought him to the U.S. at the age of nine. He attended Thousand Oaks Elementary School, King Middle School, and Berkeley High. During his first year at SF State, he would come back to Berkeley every day to work at the R.IS.E. college prep program that helped him get into college. He has volunteered to help at many BCF events. He continues to help his family with chores and childcare, before returning to SF State every evening to do his homework. He currently has three jobs; working with us, as a tutor for Y Scholars, and as a referee for youth soccer. We don’t know how he does it all. He is one of the most positive people we know and is always willing to help out fellow students.

He is a core member of our scholar community and, like many other Dreamers, a core member of the Berkeley community.

Without legislative action, his future and the future of his fellow Dreamers' will be in jeopardy.

We urge you to help. We are part of a large community and collectively, we can have great impact. Here are some things you can do now:

- Learn more about DACA and the impact of the administration's announcement.
- Declare your support through social media channels, so DACA recipients know you are an ally. #DefendDACA #WithDreamers

If you are mentoring a Dreamer or know a student who is impacted, reach out to them, let them know they are not alone.

- Listen and learn about their challenges. Encourage them to reach out for support and help.
- Help them research additional scholarships to fund their education at http://www.maldef.org/leadership/scholarships/
- Let them know that USF Law school will be offering free all-day clinics on Friday Sept.15th and Saturday Sept.16th to help DACA recipients complete their renewal paperwork (which must be submitted by October 5th). They will also be meeting with individuals to explore viable pathways to achieve legal status.
- Send a clear message to the President and Congress that you support giving Dreamers the security of legal status and a path to citizenship.
- Encourage your friends and family to do the same, especially those who live in other states.

BCF stands with Dreamers and their families as we explore additional ways to support them. Please feel free to contact any one of us with your questions and concerns.

Best,

The Berkeley Community Fund Staff

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