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Latino Daily News

Wednesday February 15, 2012

Faces of the DREAM Act: Jose Luis Zelaya is Crocheting his Way Through College

Faces of the DREAM Act: Jose Luis Zelaya is Crocheting his Way Through College

Photo: Jose Luis Zelaya is Crocheting his Way Through College

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Everyone knows college is expensive, but for undocumented students who don’t qualify for financial aid due to their status it can seem nearly impossible to attend, even with great grades.

That is what Jose Luis Zelaya is up against. However, the Honduras-born student is not giving up on his dreams of sending both himself and his 20-year-old sister to college.

When he was just a young boy in Honduras, Juan Luis worked a number of odd jobs to help his family. After seeing a woman on the street crocheting, he asked her to teach him. She turned him down saying the craft was not for boys, but he didn’t let it go. Juan Luis eventually taught himself to crochet watching women and is using that skill to earn money for his and his sister’s education.

Juan Luis has since started a crocheting business on the DIY site Etsy, calling the store DREAMbeannies after the immigration/education legislation many have been pushing to pass for undocumented students. The online showroom displays hats, scarves, headbands, and even phone and iPod covers.

But that is not all Juan Luis is doing, he’s also attempting to earn a Guinness World Record title.

The 24-year-old student at Texas A&M University in College Station has posted a YouTube video of himself attempting to win the title of the world’s fastest crocheter.

In 2005, Lisa Gentry was officially issued the title of fastest crocheter, and no offense to her, but Juan Luis looks to take that away.

What it all comes down to however, is that Juan Luis needs to raise enough money to keep himself and his sister in school, as he recognizes the importance of a college education.

In a recent Facebook post on his Dream Beanies page, Juan Luis wrote, “I challenge you to inspire someone today. Make a call back home and talk to your friends in HS or Middle School and just tell them how amazing going to college is. Give a call back home and tell your parents thank you for your hard work. Lets inspire the lives of many by the way we live.”

Want to help? Visit his Etsy store here.

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