DD, 28, New York City, Born in Belize
With the help of my aunt who is my adopted mom, I have made a life for myself and my two-year-old daughter in Manhattan. Arriving in the States in 2003 on a tourist visa, I never returned to Belize, even though I have siblings there whom I miss.
Since my aunt works for Manhattan College, I’m able to attend school tuition-free and I’m working on completing my last semester of study for a BA degree in sociology with a minor in education. I want to help others and make a positive difference in the world. When I graduate, I hope to land a paid internship in my field.
Qualifying for DACA changed my life in so many ways. I was able to work, go to school and establish credit. I could live my life with more certainty and less fear, even though I know DACA is more of a reprieve than a solution. It’s still a real blessing.
I’m earning my right to stay every day by getting my education, paying my way and being a good citizen in my community. I’m raising my child on my own though her father contributes what he can. Just like most parents, I want my daughter to have every opportunity and a sense of belonging. No matter how hard life is for me, I am determined to succeed and I surround myself with other highly motivated, positive people.
Being undocumented, even with the limited protection of DACA, has made it hard for me to be open and trusting. Fearing the worst while constantly working toward fulfilling my goals – this is my undocumented state of mind. It is always with me but so is my determination to overcome all of life’s obstacles and to live a full life.