In celebration of Latino Heritage Month the Career Services Center – in collaboration with ASSC, the Center for Student Life, LASO, E4FC, and the Pre-Health Dreamers – hosted a presentation about paths into the medical field by a unique group of undocumented students that represent the first wave of DREAMERS admitted into medical school. Presenter Denisse Rojas, shared a powerful and very moving story about her own journey through college at UC Berkeley – including the financial barriers, family separations, and sometimes hostile academic culture she faced based on her immigration status. She also discussed the significant gains that have been made for DREAMERS through policies like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, the CA Dream Act, and more recently the passage of SB 1159, which requires 40 licensing boards under the California Department of Consumer Affairs to grant professional licenses to applicants regardless of their immigration status by 2016. Several students who stayed to speak with Denisse following the presentation commented to her that seeing her overcome so many obstacles gave them inspiration not to let their own barriers get in the way of their dreams!
Article by Lezra Chenportillo | Photos by Claudia Paz