By Luis, KIPP Oklahoma City alumnus, High School Junior
My parents brought me to the United States from Mexico when I was 3. They were searching for better opportunities, a better education, a better life. My family has worked for everything they have. Today my uncle runs a car detailing business, and my parents own a party supply company.
My younger brother is ten, six years younger than me. Born in Arizona, he doesn’t understand what it means to be undocumented. He’s never been through what I’ve been through. When I arrived in America, I didn’t know anybody who spoke English. I missed lunches and was tutored after school to try to catch up with everyone. I have worked hard to meet every challenge I faced.
The biggest challenge yet was earning my Eagle Scout rank. I never thought I–a 16-year-old high school junior–would become an Eagle Scout and I did. It took a lot of volunteering hours and merit badges. I reorganized and helped gather supplies for an elementary school’s parent resource room, including a donated computer for parents to use. I think the most special moment in earning my Eagle Scout status was when my troop nominated me for Project of the Year and awarded me a $500 scholarship.
I’m committed to Scouting. I’m trying to establish a troop at my high school and lead an expedition to High Adventure Camp. I also serve as a Senior Patrol Leader, mentoring younger Scouts. I go camping whenever I can. Everything I do in school–whether it’s soccer, cross country, or my classes–I’m trying to be best I can to make the people around me proud. My teachers and Scout leaders showed me I had potential, and pushed me to succeed. Right now I’m earning A’s in Advanced Placement classes to receive college credit. I’d like to go to medical school at the University of Oklahoma, or study biomechanical engineering.
I applied to DACA earlier this year, but I’m still waiting to receive my paperwork. With a Social Security number, I can get my driver’s license and help my parents out. When I get home from school, I check the mail every day. Sometimes I do live in fear that someone will come in and take everything that I achieved. I try not to think about it that much. My friends who are DACA recipients are like me–the top of our class, willing to do everything we can to go to college. The Dreamers I know are amazing people.
I hope my story inspires you to ask Congress to sign the Dream Act and protect kids like me.