Arizona DREAM Act Coalition Awards Congressman Grijalva

April 6, 2010

On March 27th, 2010, the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition presented an award to Congressman Raul Grijalva for his long time support of the DREAM Act.  The award was given during the Si Se Puede Awards Dinner honoring those educators in the community that inspire, encourage, and support all students in their educational career and goals.

Ten bright and hard-working students presented the award to Congressman Grijalva.  Some of them, and many more in the audience, were DREAM students.

During the event, we met a group of students that were awarded the Si Se Puede Scholarship.  When we explained to them what the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition was and what we did, some of them revealed that they were also DREAM students.  Thanks to the Si Se Puede Foundation, these students will get to continue their education.  But there are many more students out there, valedictorians and athletes, which see post-secondary education as an unattainable goal.  For that reason, the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition decided to award two scholarships this year for graduating seniors planning to attend a community college.  The message: don’t give up on your education and your future, you are not alone.

Congressman Grijalva commented on the importance of revamping our educational system.  He mentioned how Know Child Left Behind would be re-authorized under a new name with new funding and clear goals.  Congressman Grijalva believes that in order for a nation to secure its own future it must focus on educating its people.

I remember one time when Dr. Cameron, a great educator, was conversing about the education system and DREAM students.  You see Arizona has one of the worst education systems.  In addition, educators are afraid to support their own students, our police departments are deporting DREAM students every day and laws pass left and right making it harder for DREAM students to continue their education.  They are forced to pay out of state tuition even though they’ve lived here all of their lives, can’t work, can’t drive, can’t apply for financial aid, can’t apply for public scholarships, and can’t apply for loans.  Yet despite all of these obstacles, DREAM students succeed.  Perhaps to fix our education system we should begin by instilling in every child the importance and appreciation for education that DREAM students exhibit.  When doors are closing on them, DREAM students see a light in every opportunity.  It is amazing how, when all possibilities seem to be taken away from you, the minutest opening can become a great freedom.  That is why I know the DREAM Act wouldn’t benefit primarily the students themselves, it would benefit our country.  We need to make these students officially our own and not hide them in the shadows.

To say that these students are treated as second-class citizens in America would be an understatement.  We cannot continue treating them this way.  We cannot continue to be the best nation in the world when we turn away our best and brightest.  We fail morally when we lack the courage to do what is right.

Let’s move America forward.  Let’s instill our education system with new spirit.  Let’s acknowledge that everyone deserves an education in this country, because that’s what is best for everyone.  DREAM. Act. NOW!


For more information about the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition Scholarship Fund please e-mail: xdanielrodriguezx@gmail.com

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