By Guillermo Camarillo, Communications Intern, Stanford in Government Program Recipient
To honor DACA’s fifth anniversary, the ACLU of Illinois has launched a storytelling project featuring DACA recipients. We hope that by telling these stories, we give agency to more people to tell their own story and challenge the harmful rhetoric coming from the Trump Administration. Here is one story:
I currently attend Harold Washington College. I am interested in majoring in Latin American studies or an area that involves public policy. I didn’t know about my history or where I came from until I took a class on Latin American studies. This class woke up something inside of me that has pushed me to pursue a career in these areas.
I would like to one day work for a non-profit. When I was little, I used to be part of an organization called “Soccer for Success”. It was a program that will offer mentorship and gear to youth to play soccer. This program helped so many kids in my community and even has impacted both my family and myself. However, this program has struggled financially. It is hard to know that programs like these are constantly fighting to stay alive, yet do so much for communities. Seeing this has inspired me to dedicate my life to ensuring that non-profits continue to provide services to communities like my own.
When I first got DACA, the changes were immediate. I was able to do things that I was not able to do before. I was able to take part of programs and be paid for being part of those programs. I interned at a Chicago public library and the Adler Planetarium. I also like volunteering and DACA has allowed me to volunteer in places that require background checks.
Overall, DACA has allowed me to see more potential for myself. It has allowed me to feel secure and has granted me opportunities I would have never had before. To have it taken away would hurt more to have never had it in the first place. They gave it to us - we now know how much we could do. To have it taken away so suddenly will definitely hurt.