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“Because Of DACA I Am Here”: Mi Familia Vota Celebrates Immigrant And Latino Grads

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Millions of Latino and undocumented immigrant youth from around the nation are graduating from school and taking their first steps into the professional world. Mi Familia Vota is honoring six of them in a new post highlighting their stories of perseverance, grit, and success.

One of the youth highlighted, Ahtziria Barrera, is a graduate of Colonial High School  in Orlando. Ahtziria is an undocumented immigrant — and valedictorian of her class.

“Because of DACA I am here,” says Ahtziria in the video below from Mi Familia Vote, adding that the implementation of DAPA and DACA+ would allow other undocumented immigrants to pursue their own dreams too.

Another undocumented student in Denver, Angelica Prisciliano, says for her “graduating means I get to break the stigma about undocumented students”:

I came to this country at the tender age of 12 from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Ever since we immigrated, my parents always instilled in me that an education would help all of us. I am an undocumented student in the pursuit of a law degree, which will give me the tools to continue contributing to my community. And now I am one step closer to my dream. This year, I will be receiving my Associates degree in Applied Sciences in Paralegal Studies from the Community College of Denver and will be transferring to Colorado University Denver in the fall. I am the first person in my family to attend and graduate college.

As founder of Dreamers United Student Organization and student representative for my campus’ Student Government Association, we have advanced community involvement, institute policy change within our campus, and increase advocacy for our undocumented community. I also volunteer with Mi Familia Vota to educate my community about the importance of civic participation. Graduating means I get to break the stigma about undocumented students and through these small steps, together we are closing the education gap within my community. Graduation means moving forward, making my dreams come true, and making my family proud. I want to continue contributing to my community.

Check out Mi Familia Vota’s post for more stories of incredible youth who are already leaders in their communities and are all set to keep changing the world.