My name is Francisco Barros. I was born in Cuenca, Ecuador and came to New York City when I was only two years old in March 1999. I am currently in my second semester at the Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York with an intended major in Computer Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. This past December, I received TheDream.US Scholarship and have benefitted greatly from it.
Growing up as an immigrant has been very difficult at times. My parents have had to work very hard so that my little sister and I could dedicate ourselves to study full time. My father works as a construction worker and has always put food on the table even when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Thankfully, he was able to have his thyroid extracted and does not have cancer anymore. My mother has always stayed at home to raise my sister and me. All the sacrifices made by my parents have encouraged me to do my best in everything.
When President Obama issued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012, I was extremely happy because it meant I would be able to work in this country without a problem. However, I also learned that obtaining a collegial education is very important. I was lucky to have a knowledgeable college advisor who advised me to apply to the Macaulay Honors Program, which would allow me to continue with my studies without worrying about financial burdens.
I am currently a Bulletin Editor at my parish, Saints Peter and Paul, as well as a Co-Responsible of a Neocatecumenal Community in the parish. I also love to do volunteer work, which is why I joined CityServ, a volunteer organization on campus. During my free time, I also go back to my former elementary school and assist the staff with clerical work. It has been challenging to balance academic and extracurricular activities but I have fun doing it.
Thanks to TheDream.US program I have been able to cover many college related costs and expenses. I feel grateful that I am part of a program that will support me emotionally and economically throughout my four years as an undergraduate. I am sure that there are many more challenges that lie ahead but I am fortunate enough to have a community that will help me get through difficult times. I highly recommend all DREAMers to apply for TheDream.US scholarship. It is a great opportunity.
Wishing you the best,
Macaulay Honors Scholar at The City College of New York
TheDream.US Scholarship Recipient