“We want to give back to North Carolina eventually at some point in our lives. Because a lot of us, you know, if you have DACA and you have a job, you’re paying your taxes and everything and you feel like you deserve the same treatment as, at least in some ways… access to the same resources that everyone else has.
I would definitely like to get into med school in the next four years… well, after I graduate undergrad and potentially become an anesthesiologist, but I also have these goals of one day starting a non-profit to help create a better community here in Greensboro. Just in general, I really want to give back to my city and my state.
On getting through high school: I was extremely just discouraged, depressed freshman and sophomore year. It really discouraged me from, you know, participating in school activities. Especially finding the financial resources to be able to pay for college was extremely depressing. It almost felt impossible and I already had to start thinking about what I will do if I’m not going to college because it was almost certain I wasn’t going to be able to go to college.
The image that a lot of people painted on immigrants was, is, completely different than the truth. So, when they found out (my status) they said stuff like, “How are you an immigrant? I’ve never known. You don’t look like an immigrant.” Other students had been through the same situation, had been met with a lot of negativity. They would make rude comments, you know just bullying in general or even directs threats such as, you know, “oh I’m going to call ICE on you.”
All these different people with different immigration statuses are gifts waiting to be opened. A lot of these people have talents that they could bring to the United States, in our state, in our community. However, we do not allow their gifts to be uncovered just because of their immigration status. I believe all these people have a lot to offer if they’re just given a chance.
Honestly, it was almost a dream come true when the DACA program started. Before DACA I did not know how I was going to be able to go to college at all. Definitely, the financial barrier is still huge but at least there is a chance for me to go. I’ve known many people that have been able to be successful simply because of DACA.”
*Pseudonym, not his real name. Data collected in 2017.
Research study conducted by Dr. Laura M. Gonzalez, School of Ed., UNC Greensboro