My name is Myagmarsuren Ireedui and I am a Math-Econ student at UCLA. I was born in Mongolia and came to the United States, in pursuit of a better education and better future, on October of 2001. I am 19 years old now and I have been dealing with the trouble of paying for my education because I am not allowed to apply for scholarships from the government due to my status as an undocumented student. There are many people from Asia that are undocumented but they are not well represented in the statistics, so I took the liberty of writing my story in hopes of providing more diversity .
I came to the United States when I was 11 years old on a tourist visa and at the time I was too young to understand the magnitute of trouble I would face if my visa was expired. I was immediately enrolled in Bancroft Middle School after my arrival. I did not speak a word of English but because I was the only Mongolian-speaking student at my school I needed to learn the language quickly. I was able to accomplish this and at the end of 8th grade I was one of two students at my school to graduate with straight A’s. I was also awarded the most-improved ESL student at my graduation.
After middle school I attended Fairfax Senior High until my senior year and there I was able to stay on the principal’s honor roll for the whole time that I was there. I had to transfer to Nathaniel Narbonne High School and I graduated from there on July of 2006.
I was not able to pay for the tuition to attend university so I did not bother to even apply and from high school I enrolled and attended Los Angeles Harbor College for two years. During this time I worked and with help from my family I made enough money to pay the tuition for university so I applied and was accepted into UCLA. I am currently a junior at UCLA.
I am not a special student or a person for being able to accomplish this much and come this far in life but I am one of many to do so. There are so many things AB540 students have to deal with and still try to succeed in school. The constant worrying and the chance that if anything goes wrong we could lose everything we have worked so hard for is a reality that is too harsh to face. The fact that we can not drive legally because we are not allowed to apply for a license, the fact that we can not apply for government scholarships, the fact that if someone reports that we are undocumented we could get in serious trouble, the fact that even if we succeed in graduating college we are still not able to legally work in the United States and use our education to better ourselves and to better the country we grew up in and love, are just some of the hardships that plague my mind day after day.
DREAM Act is an opportunity for students like me. This is a chance for us to show what we are all about and what we can be. The dream of becoming a somebody in the United States and be proud that all of that we have gone through was not for nothing. DREAM Act is not just a goverment decision for us, it is our entire lives that are in the hands of politicians. I would love for the DREAM Act to pass so I would have the priviledge of seeing my family back in Mongolia and still be able to come back to the United States and continue to pursue my happiness and life. My story is not special but it is one of many stories of AB540 students.