San Francisco High School Teacher Inspires Many DREAMers

Kristina Rizga reports for Mother Jones on one teacher's crusade to send undocumented students to college.

By Thoai Lu May 03, 2011

With the DREAM Act poised to make its way back onto the national radar, Mother Jones takes a moment to highlight Amadis Velez, a teacher at San Francisco’s Mission High School who’s working hard to make sure that his undocumented students’ dreams of college educations come to fruition. Kristina Rizga reports:

Velez is famous at Mission High for his dedication to sending more undocumented high school seniors to college. This year, he is celebrating a record with Jakob’s class. "Out of 29 of my students, 22 will go to four-year colleges, three students are going to vocational schools, and one to city college," he told me last week. Four undocumented students got accepted to UC schools, but only Jakob might be able to go, thanks to financial support from Robert. The rest won’t go, since despite endless scholarship applications, they didn’t get enough funding. "we don’t have enough college graduates for many high-skilled jobs in this country. It’s such a waste of potential to me," Valez said.

Read more over at Mother Jones. Velez’s work in supporting undocumented students in their struggles to attend college is particularly honorable, considering how many would benefit from the DREAM Act.  The measure would enable 360,000 undocumented youth the chance for conditional legal status and the prospect of financial aid.  

Julianne Hing has noted that 22 senators have written a letter to President Obama, pleading to defer action for undocumented immigrant youth who would have qualified for the bill. Maryland just became the twelfth state to pass its version of the DREAM Act, which would enable undocumented immigrant students the right to pay in-state tuition at the state’s four-year colleges.