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DREAM Now Letters: Wendy

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Cross-Posted at Citizen Orange.

The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC  20500

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Wendy and I am a daughter, a friend, a student, and, most importantly, a dreamer. I came to this country in 1999 from Peru when I was seven years old, accompanied by my mother, father, and sister. Getting on the plane, I did not know that words like “undocumented” and “dreams” would play such a major role in my young adult life. Growing up in New York, I began to embrace the United States and the feeling of being an American; I learned to balance this country’s traditions with my own without difficulty. I came to notice that the people around me, regardless of their different ethnic backgrounds and customs, were not so different from me after all.

As early as elementary school, I worked hard to get good grades, going from ESL in second grade to straight A’s by third grade. I graduated the sixth grade with a great reputation amongst my peers and teachers; the logical thing to do at that point was reach for the same level of success in high school. Upon entering high school, I was sure that I would flourish both socially and academically–with nothing to get in the way of me and my aspirations. I thought high school would be yet another chapter in my life that would be full of ease and more opportunities to make my parents proud.  Academically, I was able to flourish. I was in advanced classes as a freshman and sophomore, which made it possible for me to take Advanced Placement College level courses in my junior and senior years. I became involved in various extracurricular activities, and tried my best to hold office or be as much of an active member in everything that I joined. Being a member of clubs such as Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) and the Foreign Language Honor Society allowed me to do two things that are very important to me: reach out to the youth in my community by teaching them about healthy decision making, as well as advocating unity amongst all individuals regardless of their backgrounds.