Mock Graduates Lobby for Dream Act in D.C.

By Guest Columnist Jun 23, 2009

By Sonia Guinansaca Today, June 23rd, 2009 youth around the nation are taking part in the National Graduation Day Ceremony in Washington, D.C. More than 500 students from all around the country are being mobilized to Capitol Hill, where they will take part in a Mock Graduation ceremony to celebrate their graduations from high school. People will then head into legislative meetings with Congress members and Representatives. Not only are youth and Dream Act supporters taking part in this action in D.C., but different groups around the country are simultaneously hosting their own mock graduation ceremony and events in support of the Dream Act. A picture perfect journey was painted to me when I was young. I was told, "Nothin’ is impossible. Dream and work towards getting it accomplished.” That’s how I grew up, believing that my dreams counted as much any other kid. I was born in Ecuador, but raised in Harlem. All I knew was this country. My understanding of things was that I was as much a part of this country as any other person. I took my education very seriously. As a high school student, I took AP courses, got involved in extra curricular activities, ran and got elected in student government and graduated I was in the top of my graduation class. Yet as the date got closer, I stopped looking forward to it. It was bittersweet; I would be the first in my family to graduate from college, yet the chance of attending college became slim. Because of my immigration status, my grades, resume, SAT scores where all out the window. It didn’t matter, all that mattered was those 9 digits numbers I lacked. I remember sitting in my college advising room helping my fellow classmates fill out their college applications and FAFSA papers while hearing my college adviser telling me that, "College is not an option for you.” I share with you this story because it is a common story. Youth around the nation pursue an education, they have goals and dreams and yet because of their immigration status they are prohibited from even getting close to it. Every year 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school. Because of their status, they are denied state and federal grants and scholarships. But with the Dream Act, these students will have an opportunity to pursue their education and dreams. I still have my dreams of becoming a lawyer or a politician someday. — Check out : Sign the petition for the Dream Act here: Learn more on the Dream Act and the events that youth are coordinating around the nation on : For video clips regarding the Dream Act, go to Youtube: Dream Act 2009.