My name is Alejandra, I am 18 years old and I was born in Mexico. My family and I came to the United States when I was eight years old with a tourist visa. My parents decided to leave their native country for several reasons; one of those reasons was that they wanted a better live for my sister and me. When we arrived in the US everything was really different for me. At first school was quite difficult for me. Not being able to understand the teachers made me feel hopeless. I remember that every day after school I went home crying, because I wasnâ€™t used to this new life. But after several years, I was able to understand English better, and I felt really proud of myself. As I grew older, the barriers grew to be more. I always thought of myself as an American and I was thoroughly disappointed and in a state of shock when I found that I couldnâ€™t get a driverâ€™s license.
Not having a driverâ€™s license is another obstacle that I face. Iâ€™m a senior and I will be graduating high school this May. Throughout the four years I have been an high school student, I have earned awards for my academics Currently I have a 3.8 GPA and class rank 19 out of 348, placing me in the top 6% of my classmates. I have been participating in extra-curricular activities such as womenâ€™s choir, clubs like PTSA, FBLA, Foreign Language and finally the French club, where Iâ€™m the secretary. Not only I have been awarded academic awards for participating in extra-curricular activities, but I like to return something of what my community has offered me. I have been involved in many church volunteer programs such as teaching Sunday school, being a peer minister for the youth group, and helping theose who are in need by giving them a hot meal. I believe that these are great ways to give back to my community.
For most of the high school seniors, their last year in high school might be a challenging one and an exciting one at the same time. Applying to colleges and universities can be an intimidating experience for many high school seniors. Imagine adding the extra anxiety of being an immigrant from another country. In my case, Iâ€™m limited when it comes to applying to colleges or universities; I can only apply in the state of Kansas but I have to pay out of state tuition like many other students. For other students paying for college might be easy, they are able to apply for many scholarships, they received financial aid, and even apply for student loans. But for me all of this is just a dream; as an immigrant student Iâ€™m not able to apply for the same scholarships that other students can. I can only apply for the local ones and I have no access to financial aid or student loans. During the time that I was in high school, I applied to the A+ program, and I remember as if it were yesterday that I was really excited to receive a letter that I have qualified for the A+ program. I did all of the paperwork that had to be completed and my sophomore year I began to do my community services and I completed 24 hours out of the 50 that are required. But I never thought that during my junior year I would have to stop with my community services due to the reason that Iâ€™m an undocumented student. I still remember that day, and at that point I thought that all of my dreams of attending college had been crushed. But inside of me I knew that this was just a challenge and that I should overcome it and Iâ€™m proud to say that I did. As a senior I wanted to challenge myself by taking four advanced classes of which three of them are college credit class, and I knew from the beginning that I wasnâ€™t able to take them as college credit but like I said I wanted to challenge myself. No matter how many challenges I have to face, I know that I can learn from them and reach for the stars by always staying positive. My greatest desire in my life is to pursue a career in business. I applied and was accepted to a community college where I will be attending this fall, and trying to achieve my dream.
We represent some of Americaâ€™s most persevering and brightest youth. We have been tested by difficult challenges. Most of us have experience days where we think that the world is going to an end and that all the hope that we have is gone. Yet, with each challenge, we continue to overcome. All that we want is to contribute the growth of this nation, and we have the potential to do so. All we need is the CHANCE to let us shine.
Please pass the DREAM Act. All I ever wanted is to peruse my dreams and to finally as cheesy as it may sound, it is my dream to one day be able to say, â€œI AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICANâ€.