Faces of Dreamers: Lucero Estrada, Andrea Scarios Valazquez, and Alan Platon, Incoming College Freshmen

July 11, 2018

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This is one in a series of posts on individual Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as young children, many of whom are under threat of deportation following the Trump administration’s decision in September 2017 to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA.

Recent high school graduates Lucero Estrada, Andrea Scarios Valazquez, and Alan Platon had to worry about more than just grades and college applications senior year, according to a profile in the Chicago Sun-Times. They faced anxiety over the uncertain future of their immigration status as Dreamers and of the DACA program.

Fortunately, their Illinois high school, Muchin College Prep, provides helpful resources for its undocumented students including a Dreamers Club, scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition at partner colleges and universities, and a dedicated college counselor.

Lucero Estrada was born in Mexico and brought to the United States at age three. She received a full ride to Luther College (IA), her top choice, where she plans to study psychology and, possibly, law.

Alan Platon, who also came from Mexico when he was three, expressed frustration that his classmates do not take their studies seriously, whereas he would be grateful to have the same opportunities they have as documented citizens.

Andrea Scarios Valazquez, who was two years old when her parents brought her from Mexico, agrees with Alan that undocumented students must work extra hard to take advantage of the limited opportunities they are afforded.

“I myself just was trying to push myself to get those grades because I know it’s harder for me in general being a Dreamer,” she says, “that even though my grades might be up to the standards of everybody else, just because I’m a Dreamer cuts me off from all those other opportunities.” She works hard to pay her parents back for everything they did for her, saying, “getting an education is what would help them say that whatever they did was worth it.”

Read more about their experiences here.

—Carly O’Connell

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