Photo: Freedom University
Freedom University, which offers courses with university credits for undocumented youths barred by regulation from Georgia’s five most-selective public institutions, begins its school year this fall with more classes and new challenges.
“These young people want to be in a university class and…we give them the chance to study, to be in that environment and to show the Georgia Board of Regents and the rest of the people in Georgia how serious they are,” Pamela Voekel, one of the founders of Freedom University, told Efe.
Voekel and other professors from the University of Georgia launched Freedom University in 2011.
They were responding to the Regents’ 2010 decision to ban undocumented students from the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia College and State University, the Medical College of Georgia and Georgia State University.
Previously, all of Georgia’s public universities admitted undocumented immigrants, though they could not receive federal or state aid and had to pay tuition at out-of-state rates.
From just one class in each of the last two years, Freedom University will be giving four classes of close to 45 students, both in Athens - home of UGA - and in Atlanta.
Voekel said the growth of Freedom University is largely due to the support of professors, universities and activists from other states, who collaborate by donating books, classroom supplies and other resources.
And it is precisely this support network that has allowed several students to receive scholarships to continue their studies in prestigious universities of other states with policies less strict toward the undocumented.
The Mexican Fredy Mosso is one of the latest students at Freedom University to receive a scholarship, one that will allow him to study computer technology at Syracuse University in New York.