Note: Edy Pineda was my student as an 8th grader. It is incredibly special and rewarding for me to see him now as he waits to hear from colleges and uses his voice and his story to speak up on behalf of all the kids, like him, who fear what will happen if our elected leaders in Washington don’t fix DACA. His future and the future of so many like him hang in the balance. The time is now. -Erika
By Edy Pineda, Blackstone Valley Prep Senior
On Tuesday, September 5, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, most commonly known as DACA, was rescinded. I cannot overstate the impact this announcement has had on my family and me.
I was brought to the United States by my parents as a one year old. They fled Guatemala in pursuit of a country that would significantly improve our quality of life. I’m grateful for their journey – it gave me the opportunity to grow up in and contribute to this country. My country. The only country I’ve ever called home.
In 2012, DACA was created and my world changed. For the first time, I felt that my ability to achieve my goals could become a reality. I applied to be a DACA recipient. The process was long and I had to meet a number of requirementsto even be considered. In fact, every two years, when I renew my DACA status I am scrutinized in a way that documented Americans just simply are not. Contrary to what many think, this is not easy.
I am also a proud senior at Blackstone Valley Prep. I am ready to graduate from high school in 2018 and be the first in my family to graduate from college in 2022, even though I am not eligible for most aid to support this dream.
I’m spending my final year as a BVP senior enrolled in college full-time. I was accepted into Running Start at CCRI, a dual enrollment program that offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credit before high school graduation. I’ve worked hard to get here and continue to work hard to prove myself.
I share my story because there are too many misleading narratives about DACA recipients and the broader undocumented community. We are as “American” as our friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
This piece first ran its original form here on the Blackstone Valley Prep website.