The Hispanic Scholarship Fund will open their scholarship fund to Dreamers– young adults who entered the U.S. illegally as small children. The organization estimates it has millions of privately raised dollars available.
Lucero Barasa is one Tucsonan who could benefit from the scholarship fund.
She came to the U.S. when she was 11 months old and gained temporary legal status under President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA.
“I love this country. This is the only home I have ever known," Barasa said. "I don’t know Mexico. So to go back is something I don’t know.”
Barasa graduated from high school and Pima Community College in Tucson. Pima is affordable, she said, but the University of Arizona, even with in-state tuition, is not.
Barasa and other Dreamers with temporary legal status are not eligible for most government scholarships or grants.
“A lot of my classmates are graduating from the University and just seeing that I won’t be graduating, I won’t be walking, is very sad," Barasa said. "But I have hope that something will happen that I can get my education.”
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund raised millions of private scholarship dollars for Dreamers such as Barasa.
“It gave a lot of people hope," Barasa said. "It gave me hope to continue my education.”
Barasa plans to apply for the scholarship and continue her education, because she said, being an American is a state of mind, not a piece of paper.
The deadline for applications to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund is March 30th. Applications are available online