ADAC DREAM Act Week of Action: Goal for a DREAM!

March 6, 2010

Goal for a DREAM

Host: Arizona DREAM Act Coalition West Valley DREAM Team

My fingers were numb 20 minutes into the fruit-bag making.  I had never handled so much fruit in my life!  I was up at 5am ready to bag but the success of the previous night’s event made it a little harder for everyone to get up that morning.  Thursday evening the East Valley DREAM Team hosted the DREAM Act Play in Mesa, Friday Night the Central Valley DREAM Team hosted Bread and Roses in Downtown Phoenix, and Sunday morning five teams were going to face off for the DREAM Cup during the West Valley DREAM Team’s event Goal for a DREAM at Arizona State University West.

Saturday morning was cloudy and smelled of wet earth.  Immediately the concern was turn-out, were people going to come?  Everyone worried, but one thing we knew for sure was that the players were going to do their thing come rain or shine.  Arriving at the tournament I could see the teams ready to start, waiting for a whistle to pump energy right to their veins.  The families were scattered around and the West Valley DREAM Team was signing students in and handing out drinks and snacks.

The game of soccer is beautiful!  Each player has a purpose they must know well.  They’re placed where they’re best suited, positioned to excel.  Over 60 students were on that field.  The support of the families was amazing.  They jolted at every netting kick, cringed at every red card trick.  Soccer is the place where one is kneed, elbowed, pulverized, while the other is pulled, grabbed, and shinned.  What made the day special, however, were the challenges on and off the field.

The West Valley DREAM Team struggled to make the event happened.  Plans were changed last minute, soccer teams dropped in and out, and the fields reserved were close to being off-limits.  Everyone expected rain that morning to pour and weigh down an already exhausted crowd of volunteers.  And no there were not three hundred people there, but there were five soccer teams composed of energetic and talented youth.  Many of them were undocumented.  When some of those kids heard they were competing to promote the DREAM Act they truly gave it their all.  Usually the types of DREAMers we hear about are lawyers, doctors, engineers.  But on that field were DREAMers that literally gave their sweat, blood and tears to the game.  When they fall they push harder, run the extra sprint, and stay the extra minute.

They are playing the same game that Erika plays when she has an injured knee but decides to kick the ball anyway, risking further injury.  They are playing the same game as Rocio who helped make the event possible and was worried all through the day because a family member had just been deported.  Rocio is not undocumented, but she is a DREAMer, and the game is part of her.

Members of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition walked around talking about the DREAM Act one family at a time.  They spoke to the students, thanked them, and encouraged them to keep fighting.  Many of them did not know about the DREAM Act, including those who were DREAMers themselves.  Their life is soccer.  Like many DREAMers, they probably believe that if they run fast enough, jump high enough, hit hard enough, one day the world will notice them and say, Hey, Join Our Team!

There were several injuries, but the game continued.  The DREAM Cup was awarded to the best team.  It was a long day but the group and teams stumbled through.  Once again DREAMers showed their resilience, their commitment to continue.

Even when the ball is lost, DREAMers keep playing, because they know turnovers will come.   DREAMers weather the storm, and fight on the field as hard as they fight off of it.  There are moments of silence but there are no regrets.  There are missed shots but there is no looking back, only forward.  And they’re asked what keeps them going, how they can play that game.  With heart, they say, that’s the real answer.

For More Pictures See “Pictures”




One Response to “ADAC DREAM Act Week of Action: Goal for a DREAM!”

  1. Genie Zavaleta said

    What a great description of a day of activity plus education about the DREAM ACT! Thanks to all who participated and thanks to the one who wrote this so all of us could enjoy it–

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