Crowdfunding campaign #DreamsWithOutBorder ended a week ago. I was able to raise a total of $7,000 USD. Although I was $1,000 short of the goal, due to a living of cost adjustment of the Mexican government scholarship (Conacyt) I recently received (resulting in a slight award increase), I have now fully funded my academic and housing expenses for the my graduate program in Global Migration
What was most amazing about this effort was the number of people my story was able to reach. There were over 1,000 social media shares.
Thank you for supporting me along the way. Some of you are longtime friends that I was blessed to have crossed paths at some point in my journey. Others I have not met. Nonetheless, you all have believed in what my story represents. I do not take this lightly and know that I do carry with me the responsibility and commitment to improve the condition of migrants in Mexico and abroad.
I will always be grateful for your vote of confidence in me.
If you have done so yet, please follow my MundoCitizen blog as I will post regular updates about my journey in grad school.http://mundocitizen.com/
p.s. I have also posted a recent picture of me in front of my school (University College London) during my orientation.
I received my student visa yesterday and took a flight the same day (that thankfully I did not have to cancel) so that I could make it on time for my program enrollment tomorrow.
I arrive today today at London and made it safely to the university dorms where I will be housed for the duration of my program.
Thank you everyone for the ongoing support and hope to finish strong in the last couple of days left of the fundraiser.
With your help, I am very close to reaching the fundraising goal (currently at 81%). I have adjusted the deadline of the fundraiser and added a few more days to help with the final push and to match it with the date I am scheduled to enroll in my graduate program (this coming Friday, September 20th). Five more days remain
Logistically, I am almost set. The only pending item is my UK student visa. The application process for current visa request was started late (on September 3) because I was lacking the funds to meet the financial requirement to quality. The good news is that with what I had at the time I submitted the visa request (in the form of scholarships, donations, and personal savings) I was able to proceed with the application process.
I was notified by the UK Border Agency last week that a decision was made on my visa application, although I am not informed of the final outcome until I receive the documents in person. The paperwork is on its way to the embassy in Mexico City where I had decided to travel with my luggage so I can head straight to London from here. I left Tijuana and had little time to say goodbye to my friends and family so that I could have a chance to keep my enrollment date at UCL given the status of visa application.
It is nerve wrecking to have this process complete so close to my enrollment date but if all goes smoothly, I will be able to still make it on time. I expect to be able to pick up my student visa in the following days. Stay tuned!
Lastly, I would like to share an article that was published yesterday in UT-San Diego about my family's deportation experience and what my life has been after deportation (including my plans to attend graduate school in London):http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Sep/15/young-us-deportees-search-for-a-path-in-mexico/Saludos
Stories like mine, those of Dreamers in Mexico, are getting increased media attention here. I believe that the first step in creating a movement is making our struggles visible. Academics estimate that over half a million youth have returned either by choice, due to the difficulties of pursuing their studies without documents, or have been deported.For spanish speaking followers, I'll like to share a recent TV segment aired this past Friday that gave members of Los Otros Dreamers an opportunity to have a dialogue about the issues we have experienced in integrating into Mexican society and the bureaucratic challenges we face in pursuing an education or finding a job.You can view my interview in minute 00:01:49 and 00:40:28
Historias como la mia, la que se comparte con Dreamers en México, está empezando a ser de interes a los medios aquí. Yo creo que el primer paso en crear un cambio es el de hacer visible nuestra lucha. Los académicos estiman que mas de medio millón de jóvenes han regresado por elección, a consecuencia de la dificultad de seguir con sus estudios sin documentos, o han sido deportados.
Me gustaría compartir un segmento que salió al aire este viernes pasado que nos brindo la oportunidad a Los Otros Dreamers de terner una diálogo acerca de los obstáculos que nos encontramos en continuar nuestros estudios o en buscar un empleo.
Podrán ver mi entrevista en el minuto 00:01:49 and 00:40:28
Diálogos (Sociedad) Once TV México- Dreamers: sueños inconclusos (29/08/2013)
I'll like to share with you my blog post of this week. I write about that decisive moment when I choose to leave everything behind to study migration in London:
I also would like to thank you again for support and contributions. We are almost reaching 20% of goal.MundoCitizen Blog
Every donation is truly a blessing and those being made today, the day of my birthday, is truly a gift.
Thank you everyone for making today even more special.
Les comparto mi nota reciente publicada en El Nuevo Sol de Cal State Northridge (CSUN) acerca del apoyo que se le brindo a los nueve soñadores (Dream9) que organizaron la acción de desobediencia civil en Eloy Arizona.
Los dreamers de aquí y de allá son de CSUN
“Aunque para el gobierno de EE.UU, el yo haber cruzando la frontera quedaba en el olvido, para CSUN no fue así. Leer la carta de la presidente de CSUN en apoyo a los dreamers fue el momento que me sentí más orgullosa de ser estudiante graduada de CSUN.”
Thank you everyone! I am very moved by your comments.
Aside for the support this campaign has received in the past few days to move towards its fundraising goal, the most rewarding part has been your words of encouragement. It is a confirmation that I am moving forward in the right direction, and most importantly, I am not doing this alone.
You might have noticed I named this campaign #DreamsWithOutBorders (#SueñosSinFronteras). You can help spread the word with these hash tags for those in Twitter world. You can also connect with me there @mundocitizen.
I was very moved when I received a copy of this letter from California State University Northridge (CSUN) President Dianne F. Harrison in support of Dream9, asking for their release and urging policy makers to pass comprehensive immigration reform. I am glad to see my Alma Mater embrace the Dreamer student population (past and present) as they are a part of the CSUN community. To quote a part of President Harrison's letter:
"I should add that Lizbeth's story [one of the Dream9ers] is not unique at CSUN. Nancy Landa, the university’s first Latina student body president, graduated with honors in 2004 and, following the start of a career in the nonprofit sector, was deported in 2009. She remains engaged in urging immigration reform as well, and her story, along with Lizbeth’s and many other affected students, demonstrate the kind of fine minds and contributions that will be lost, or which we will not fully benefit from, until immigration reform and the Dream Act are passed. I look forward to continued dialogue on how the higher education community can engage policy-makers and end the stalemate on this complex issue. My hope is that we can work together in some capacity to achieve compassionate immigration reform and protect the future of students who share Lizbeth Mateo’s and Nancy Landa’s story."
Thank you CSUN for remembering those dreams that are often forgotten once they cross the border.
For a complete copy of the letter, visit the following link:
Just a few minutes into the campaign and I see a donation from a HOPE sister! Thank you. I am moved you believe in my story. I was reminded today of the generosity of the HLI sisterhood.
I will keep my supporters posted not only on the progress of the campaign but also of my journey to graduate school.
The campaign ends the day I expect to be boarding the plane to London. Saludos!