I’m not a package that can be sent back
THIS IS THE MOMENT I’ve been waiting for. I’m finally in my senior year at Lesley University, majoring in business management and minoring in communications, and my future is ahead of me.
But unlike the rest of my classmates—who are applying for jobs and preparing for life after graduation—I am in limbo. That’s because I am a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a temporary protective status for young people who arrived in the United States as children. DACA has given me the chance to live, learn, and contribute to the workforce in the only country I’ve really known.
I was five when I first came to the United States from the Dominican Republic, and seven when I moved to Lynn. I attended KIPP Lynn Academy Middle School and St. Mary’s High School, and then enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge. I’m working two jobs to pay for college because I can’t receive federal aid, and I commute from Lynn to Cambridge each day—but my education is well worth it to me.
The reason that I can work and go to school now is because of DACA. I applied for the program in 2014, when I was a senior at St. Mary’s. A college counselor from KIPP helped me navigate the DACA process and supported me as I applied to colleges. It was a stressful process, but I did get permission to work and enroll in college thanks to DACA, and I’ve been fortunate to spend almost four years at Lesley. I’ve learned, made friends, and engaged with a new community of people who are going to change the world.