While DREAM Act supporters are worried about the bill’s passing after its delayed Senate vote, others are bringing hope and help to immigrant youth.
According to their website, Washington D.C.’s Esperanza Education Fund “is a community-financed college scholarship program founded and operated by a diverse, all-volunteer group of young professionals in the capital region,” and since its founding in 2009, they have awarded $125,000 in college scholarships.
The scholarship’s requirements are that recipients must have been born outside the U.S. or have two parents born outside of the U.S., are graduating seniors in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia or are enrolled in GED programs, and they must also attend a public university in one of these areas.
What is important to note is that these scholarships are open to all who meet the above requirements regardless of their immigration status.
Esperanza’s $5,000 scholarships for those attending two-year colleges and $10,000 for those attending four-year schools are an attempt to lower the number of obligations these students face so that they are able to study.
“Many of these students don’t have time to build up their extracurricular resumes because they’re working 50 hours per week in the family restaurant,” said one of Esperanza’s co-founders, 28-year-old Alvaro Bedoya.
To date, scholarships have been awarded to students from Bolivia, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Guinea, Honduras, India, Mexico, and Vietnam.