LatinaLista — Between today and yesterday, my Inbox has been filling up with emails from students who are undocumented but want to go to college, earn a degree and put it to use. Due to laws in most states, that dream is just a dream.
Yet all these students have a rekindled hope that this dream will become a reality. Not because Congress is showing signs of resurrecting the failed bill but because of a web site called change.org that is running a very unique contest called Ideas for Change in America.
I actually wrote about the ideas competition on change.org last week but didn’t specifically point attention to the one idea that all these email writers want Latina Lista readers to notice — Pass the DREAM Act – Support Higher Education for All Students.
Because it happens to be an issue I personally support, I am republishing in part the original blog post and urge Latina Lista readers to support the idea that college be made available to all those students who want to go, regardless of citizenship.
But I believe the message is much stronger in the voices of those who are fighting for it:
My name is Maria and I am a DREAM Act beneficiary. I arrived in this country at the young age of 12, with my parents, from Peru. I am now 21 years old and undocumented. I have grown up in the United States and consider this country my only home. If sent back to Peru, I would be banned from the U.S. for 10 years and the chances of coming back are slim to none. I graduated from high school in 2004 and since then, it has been difficult for me to continue my education as a result of my status.
My name is S.Aran, I am a representative of Dream Activist where we are currently conducting a massive awareness and recruitment campaign in order to garnish support for the Dream Act.
I am an undocumented student, and find it extremely difficult to pursue my college education due to a status I inherited from my parents. Being brought to the United States at the age of 12, raised and brought to an American lifestyle, to graduating high school in 2007 at the top of my class. The DREAM Act would help me, and students in my situation, realize our dreams of becoming active members of society by allowing us to attend school or join the military.
Change is afoot in Washington and Obama hasn’t even been sworn into office yet. But the anticipation of the changes Obama pledged to do once he assumed office has been enough to get people to take the initiative in helping him steer a course on change.
One of those initiatives is known as change.org.
At change.org, a competition called Ideas for Change in America was created to take advantage of Obama’s claim that he wanted an increase in citizen involvement in government. What better way to get involved than to propose new ideas on what Obama and his administration should tackle in the 100 days, if not term.
The first part of the competition was held last month where over 7,000 great ideas proposed by Americans were voted on by the public and the list was whittled down to a second stage featuring just 90 ideas — the top 3 ideas from each of the 30 categories.
But don’t think it’s over.
The top 10 rated ideas from the final round will be presented to the Obama administration on January 16th at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, co-hosted by the Case Foundation. At the event we (change.org) will also announce the launch of a national advocacy campaign behind each idea in collaboration with our nonprofit partners to turn each idea into actual policy.
But before Obama can be presented with the top 10 ideas, they first must be voted on from the 90 that are still vying for a top 10 spot.
From January 5 – January 15, people can vote for their favorite ideas to be presented to Obama — and hopefully see their ideas turn into action.