Carolina is a 26-year-old DACA recipient. She is currently enrolled at a university in Chicago. She and her parents arrived in the U.S. from Mexico when Carolina was four years old, her father is a permanent resident. She has three brothers, all of whom are U.S. citizens. As a result, Carolina’s mother would be eligible for DAPA.
Carolina has always been aware that she was undocumented. Seeing her parents struggle to make ends meet, she started working when she was 13 years old. She knew and understood that if her family came to the U.S., it was for a good reason; they were meant to be there. “I wanted to help find a way to help ease the family financial burden by being able to save money for some of my own needs, like shoes or clothes,” says Carolina.
“I had to make a choice about going to college and not going to college and helping take care of my mom.”
In high school, Carolina’s mother was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer. As a result, Carolina assumed more responsibility to help keep food on the table and aid her mom in making doctor appointments. Carolina had to choose: either help her family and take care of her ailing mother or continue her education.
“It’s a miracle that [the cancer] didn’t spread to her bones, [but] I had this transition where I had to make a choice about going to college and not going to college and helping take care of my mom and driving her, and what the risks meant,” remembers Carolina.
Fortunately, Carolina qualified for DACA, and is now pursuing her passion for learning and teaching. “One of the things that I really learned growing up was the importance of education and being educated,” shares Carolina. She dreams of becoming a history teacher and sharing her love of learning with her students–a love that was passed on to her from her parents.
“One of the things that I really learned growing up was the importance of education.”
DAPA would mean that Carolina’s parents no longer have to live with the fear of deportation.