MitashaPahlaI am currently in my second semester at Macaulay Honors at Lehman College with an intended major in Biochemistry. This past December, I received the TheDream.US Scholarship and have greatly benefited from it.

Born in Bahrain to Indian parents, my family and I flew to New York City as immigrants in March of 1999. Growing up as an immigrant was not easy. My family struggled to survive on such a low income. My father worked as a manager of a souvenir store, while my mother stayed at home raising my brother and me. As a child, I knew that things were difficult, but I never fully understood what it was like for us all until I realized that I was undocumented.

Thankfully, President Obama issued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive action, allowing me to work legally without the fear of being deported. For the first time, I felt like I could better understand some of the sacrifices my father made by his dedicated efforts, and I realized that I wanted to help. I decided that if I started contributing to the family income, maybe he would not have to work as hard. When I asked my father what I could do to help make his work burden maybe just a bit lighter, he explained to me that my job in the family was to study hard and get into college. From that day on, I vowed to be more active in school so that I could strengthen my path to further my education.

Fortunately, I was able to earn a job as a receptionist and volunteer as a first grade catechist teacher every Tuesday at my local parish. I also run the Humans of Macaulay club, in which we conduct interviews every Friday, reflecting the style of Humans of New York. It has been a challenge balancing both school work and extracurriculars, but I enjoy every moment of what I do.

My father instilled in me a drive to work hard and persevere, and I want nothing more than to achieve in college, work towards a successful career, and in turn help to support my family someday, especially my father’s retirement.

Thanks to TheDream.US, they have assisted me both financially and mentally. TheDream.US has allowed me to strive for a more ambitious career path, without the fear of being in debt. There are so many more challenges I have yet to face, but I know that with the support of TheDream.US, I will be able to overcome them. I strongly encourage any eligible Dreamer to apply for this scholarship, you will not regret it! This is a great opportunity and every Dreamer should be a part of it.

All the best,

Mitasha Palha
Macaulay Honors College at Lehman College

TheDream.US Recepient