This is for the Dreamers

By Gekeya Pinder
May 5, 2024

Graphic made by Gekeya Pinder.
Graphic made by Gekeya Pinder.

Undocumented students have the opportunity to receive their college education, opportunities, and resources with the help of TheDream.US program. The program provides scholarships for students to attend partner colleges such as Cabrini University. 

Youth who arrived in the U.S. as children came to the country with or without their families to fight for a better life. Since they are not U.S. citizens, they can’t receive federal aid. 

TheDream.US is similar with The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The policy was established in June 2012 which allow immigrants who came to the U.S. with their parents would be able to avoid deportation and be able to live and work in the city. DACA is valid for two years and it can be renewed providing more employment opportunities. TheDream.US helps the children who stays be able to get an education and work with them to achieve it.

What is TheDream.US?

TheDream.Us is the nation’s largest college access and career success program for the Dreamers who have an undocumented status. 

A woman protesting for DACA. Photo via Flickr.

Dr. Nune Grigoryan, assistant professor of communications, said, “For Cabrini, we started partnering with the TheDream.US in 2022. We didn’t have a lot of students for the program but right now it is at least 220 students that received the scholarship. The scholarship covers tuitions and fees up to $33,000 in total for the recipients.

With the partnership between the program and the college it is not just the program providing money to the colleges, but it is also the college taking the responsibility to the appointed people who will be helping students to succeed in their career.”

She continued, “My role in the partnership is the relationship manager. They come to me if they need any resources at Cabrini so I lead them to the right person. Typically, you’ll have someone who is advising the students if they are a first generation, or in their freshmen year. Same situation as regular college classes, they will have one-on-one meetings with the students. They can share their challenges and strengths.”

Grigoryan also spoke about TheDream.US’s structure for its recipients and what will happen when Cabrini closes.

She said, “With my role, I can also take questions or resources that students need that we cannot answer to TheDream.US. To ensure the success for students, TheDream.US has it own personnel available to students which is their website that they can access if they need more information and help.”

She continued, “To the best of my knowledge from what students have told me, the majority will be attending Holy Family University, which is another partner school with TheDream.US, but some will not be attending partner schools and will still be continuing their education.”

Cabrini’s dreamers

One undocumented student, a junior criminology major, was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. when she was five. She is the first generation in her family to graduate high school and to attend college. 

She said, “I was in search of scholarships at the start of my senior year of college and a couple of teachers and friends suggested TheDream.US program to me. I applied and received a quick response finding out that I was able to get it. The program has been helping me out for the past two years of college with the tuition and just being able to go to college.

She continued, “TheDream.US made me realize that there are many opportunities for people like me. They provided me a chance to go to college.”

Another scholarship recipient, a sophomore writing and narrative arts major, was also born in Mexico and came to the U.S. as an infant.

He said, “Around the end of my high school year, I was scared of how I was going to go to college and it was mainly a money thing because of my undocumented status. My mom came across an ad for TheDream.US scholarship one day, and it felt like a godsend because one of the schools I was looking at was Cabrini. When we found out that the school had a partnership with the program, I immediately applied.” 

He continued, “When TheDream.US appeared, I was like, “Yes, this is what I need, because it helped my fear of not being able to go to college.”

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Gekeya Pinder

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