Maria Maldonado is the director of the Undocumented Student Success Center (USSC) on campus. Maldonado and her team are determined to help immigrant students as much as they possibly can by offering them several resources.
The USSC created an institution called Immigrant Parent Rising (IPR) Institute where they teach the parents of the immigrant students how they can advocate for their kids’ success.
Q: What does it mean to be a DREAMER/undocumented?
A: Undocumented means not having a legal residency or citizenship status in the U.S.A. These are members of our community who were not born in the U.S. and came with or without a legal entry and overstayed their “visiting” visa or document of some sort. It also means to be resilient.
Q: What is the event about?
A: The IPR Institute consists of providing parents with general campus information. The topics such as the California Dream Act, campus scholarships, and university loans, among others will be covered during each meeting. We will take notes on what the parents feel they need the most for their children and themselves, for us to continue with different workshop topics for our meetings.
Q: What inspired you guys to create this event?
A: We decided to create a parent institute because research has shown that when parents are engaged, students tend to be successful. Additionally, from personal experience, we have learned that when parents are involved in their child’s college career, the student tends to be less afraid of asking for help or resources available. When you engage parents, you empower them and encourage them to have a voice. The same way we educate our students and encourage them to not be afraid, we hope to do the same for the parents. They should not be afraid regardless of their immigration status.
Q: How is this event important?
A: As a former undocumented student, I believe that this event is important because we need our parents to understand the resources available to undocumented students. It is important for them to see that their choice of coming to the United States has opened many doors that have led many of us to success.
By Valentina Sanabria