Unfortunately, when high school ended, I couldn’t attend the university of my dreams. I was getting all these acceptance letters, but I couldn’t go to any of these schools, because I didn’t have a social security number, and therefore I wasn’t eligible for financial aid. I couldn’t pursue the dreams that I had been hoping to. It affected me tremendously. But I did not let my undocumented status hold me back from living my life as normal as I could, in comparison to my friends.
I enrolled at Gateway Community College, where I worked very hard as Student Government Association President and graduated with a 3.8 GPA to then be able to attend Quinnipiac University. I graduated magna cum laude and earned my Bachelor’s degree in the May of 2016.
It’s surreal to wake up everyday and be reminded that even though I have been living in America for the past 18 years, in a few months, all my honors and education might end up not mattering any more because I won’t be able to contribute to the country which I have called home for so long.
I have a grown up here, and experienced things that the average American child will experience, and made all these memories in this country with friends and colleagues. But my being in this country can end within the next few days or tomorrow. It’s just really overwhelming.
My name is Maria. I was born in Ica, Peru, and moved to the United States when I was five years old.