From information sessions and trainings on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to Dreamer Success Workshops and dreamy, undocumented student conversations – informal group councils where students can connect – the Roadrunners have access to an endless number of resources at the Dreamers Resource Center.
Even in the midst of COVID-19, the DRC is hosting events with other UTSA and community partners such as the University Career Center, Welfare Services, Graduate School and the Aid Office financial and scholarship. It also works with American Gateways, a nonprofit organization that serves low-income immigrant communities.
This summer, in collaboration with the First Generation & Transfer Student Center, the Dreamers Resource Center implemented the first peer-mentor option in the DRC. Now, for the first time, first generation and transfer students at UTSA can indicate their preference for a peer mentor who has extensive experience of the resources available in the DRC and who understands the legislative and legal challenges facing dreamy students and students. undocumented migrants are faced.
UTSA puts students first by cultivating an environment focused on their success. As a thriving, new generation, multicultural Hispanic institution where students from all walks of life can excel, the university serves as a prosperity engine to develop the civic leaders of tomorrow engaged in the world.
âThrough anecdotal and institutional research, we are aware that Dreamers and undocumented students represent diverse cultures and identities,â Ibarra said. “To ensure that the DRC is part of the drive to make UTSA a model of student success, we are emphasizing holistic programming that targets the educational, social and well-being needs of dreamers and students. illegal immigrant.”
Raul Sandoval ’22, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in construction science and management and a minor in business administration, experienced the impact of the Dreamers Resource Center.
âThe DRC has served me in many positive ways. They have been a great source of information on immigration issues by providing educational forums in which staff and students can participate, âsaid Sandoval. “They also provide a safe space for DACA / undocumented students to seek help or advice to be successful at UTSA.”
Sandoval, from Coahuila, Mexico, who grew up in Hondo, Texas, added that “the impact they have had on me has been important to my success at UTSA by offering me advice and standing with students like me, to provide us with advice, financial support, and platforms to network with students who may have similar backgrounds to mine.
Sandoval has an additional recommendation to other students. âI would tell them not to be afraid and to contact the DRC staff,â he said. âOur director, Ms. Damaris (Ibarra), has been exceptional in ensuring that we have a voice in this institution. For new students looking for advice, guidance, or even financial aid, these are all resources that a student can use through the DRC.
Dream allies are an important part of a student’s support system. These UTSA students, faculty and staff promote a welcoming and knowledgeable university culture for dreamers, undocumented students and mixed-status families. Allies learn about the experiences the Dreamer and the undocumented population face within and outside of higher education. They also learn about changes in state and federal policies. Dreamy Allies have a sign on their desks or chalkboards to identify themselves.
Over the past year, 182 new Dreamer Allies have joined the centre’s advocacy efforts by completing the Dreamer Ally training. There are now around 385 students, faculty and staff who have completed the training at UTSA. Ally trainings allow individuals to learn federal and state policies that impact dreamers, students from mixed-status families, refugees, asylum seekers and those with temporary protection status.