Georgia 6

Dulce Guerrero was 2 years old when she came to America. Determined to go to college, her hopes were shattered at the banning of undocumented students from Georgia’s top 5 universities, and again when she was told college was financially out of her reach. Now 18, Dulce came to a realization: she could no longer afford to wait for her situation to change, for while she waited, legislators were busy passing hateful legislation like HB 87. Working with the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance, Dulce uses a powerful weapon – her personal story – to empower other youth to come out of the shadows and take a stand.

Jessica Vasquez came to the United States when she was 10 years old to be reunited with her mother, and is now 18. Growing up in Georgia, Jessica worked hard in school, earning awards and honors. In high school, she came to the realization that her future would be drastically different than those of her peers because she was undocumented. Searching for help, Jessica found other youth who were organizing in her community, and knew she was not alone. Tired of waiting for change and being banned from pursuing her dreams, Jessica is taking a stand for herself and for other undocumented youth who may be living in fear.

Rolando Zenteno was brought to the U.S. at the age of 7, following his parents’ pursuit of a better life. His family came with no material possessions, but with plenty of ambition. Now 16, he considers Georgia to be his home, having made many memories and friends there. Yet he feels ostracized by the same state that has been made him who he is today, a state that is now denying him attendance to its top universities. Rolando would rather take action than sit back and wait, and is asking other undocumented youth to do the same.

Nataly Ibarra was 5 years old when she was brought to the U.S., and is now 16. Her parents wanted her to have a brighter future, and growing up, she felt no different from other kids. Once she realized she wouldn’t be able to get a driver’s license or a job like her peers, she began to come to terms with being undocumented. Meeting other youth of the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance, she saw that she was not alone in her struggle. Coming from a mixed status family, she wants to use her unique perspective to give a face and voice to the undocumented youth community, in the hopes of enabling more youth to share their stories.

Felipe Baeza came to the U.S. when he was 8 years old, and has been undocumented for 15 years. Overcoming many obstacles, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree from The Cooper Union in New York in 2009. Now 24 years old, Felipe is tired of waiting, is tired of other people having control over his own future. He stands in solidarity with undocumented youth in Georgia because an attack on undocumented youth there is an attack on undocumented youth everywhere. He asks other youth to come out, to join him in making their collective voices heard.

Leeidy Solis was 2 years old when she came to the U.S, and is now 16 years old. In high school, she felt angry once she realized that she wasn’t able or even allowed to do many of the same things she saw her peers experience. Education is Leeidy’s first priority. She will soon be a high school senior, and is intent on achieving her goal of being the first in her family to graduate from college. Tired of injustice, Leeidy started a youth group– Ambitious For Equal Rights –at her high school to show other youth that they have the power to speak for themselves. She feels there is no need to wait any longer, paralyzed by fear.