Kirssy MartinezI am 26 years old. I moved from the Dominican Republic when I was 14 years old. After graduating from high school, I spent 8 years of my life underground. I had been a really good student, but I didn’t have the financial support to attend college. My pursuit of success had come to a screeching halt. I couldn’t even use a scholarship I’d been offered because I didn’t have a Green Card.

I started working, being a waitress and babysitting. However, I always knew I wanted to go back to school. The years were going by and things just weren’t happening for me. As soon as Obama announced DACA, I applied.

Immediately I enrolled at Bronx Community College. I had to make a loan to pay the first semester. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to continue – I didn’t have the money to pay for more tuition. One day BCC’s director of scholarships told me about TheDream.US and asked me if I was interested. I said, “Of course!”

It’s such a relief that I don’t have to worry about money for tuition. Now I am in school, focusing on my classes. My GPA is 4.0. I am studying liberal arts and I want to be a college professor.

My message to prospective applicants for the scholarship is that you shouldn’t be afraid. Sometimes we are afraid of talking about our status. But I’ve learned that if you don’t let people know, they can’t help you. TheDream.US is not trying to get us – this is a group of people trying to help undocumented students who don’t have access to financial aid. You’ve got to take all of the help you can get, because as we know the help available to undocumented students is limited.

Kirssy Martinez
Bronx Community College

TheDream.US Recipient