As President Trump is fervently trying to roll back laws made by the Obama’s administration that protects Dreamers and undocumented immigrants, California has found a way to help undocumented immigrants secure a victory in battle. With the largest population of undocumented immigrants in the U.S, California is continuing to stand strong against Trump.
California colleges are devising new plans to help Dreamers and undocumented students succeed academically and financially. A non-profit organization called Immigrant Rising, announced last week that it has awarded $4 million in student aids for undocumented immigrants across 32 colleges and university in California.
This fund is called the California Campus Catalyst Fund, and its mission is to bolster support and give the right resources to undocumented students to help them succeed.
But besides its early initiatives to just fund tuitions, it is rapidly expanding its services to provide legal aid, mental health services, and career guidance. The funders are also taking deviant steps to assist students’ undocumented family members as well.
Offering services that range from legal consultations, mental health therapy, entrepreneur workshops, and civics classes teaching them how to participate in a city council meeting, this non-profit organization is driven to go above and beyond.
Victor Garcia, director of the California Campus Catalyst Fund at Immigrants Rising, said to Immigrant Rise,
“Undocumented young people and their families are integral to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of California, and as such, support for them needs to be woven into our state’s higher education system,” said Garcia. “Expanding educational access and support helps undocumented immigrants recognize and achieve their full potential, leading to a more vibrant future for all of us.”
With organizations like Immigrant Rising, immigrants who are often marginalized and sidelined can now have a sense of security and community. Many students are saying that with this type of fund and support, they are starting to view their college as a “second home”.
Salvador Cruz Matus, a previous student at UC Santa Barbara five years ago, said the presence of the Catalyst Fund is crucial for undocumented students’ success. Sharing his own story, Matus came to the U.S. without immigration papers when he was only three months old. Growing up, he said he was struggling to pay for books and food, going to the extreme of only eating a meal a day, and failing most of his classes.
“I never bought a textbook, not because I didn’t want to, but I just didn’t have the money,” Cruz Matus said to EdSource. “I was never really exposed to faculty or counselors that had the training to support an undocumented student. I would talk to financial aid and academic advisors about my situation, but they were never really able to offer any hope.”
But with the help of Immigrant Rising and DACA, he was able to dismantle his fears of deportation and was also able to put all his efforts into school.
“To know that educational institutions support you means a lot,” said Matus. “I think it’s extremely important for institutions to vocalize their support for this population. It’s important for students to know that they’re not alone.”
As more and more families are being helped by the Catalyst Fund, they are finally able to live the American Dream and students are finally able to get the education they need to succeed and to use that to make America great again.
What Is The California Campus Catalyst Fund?
This fund is created by a group of philanthropists, educators, and advocates who are pushing the fund to be grantmaking initiative looking to expand support for students and their families across California. So far, this fund has raised nearly $10 million. This money has helped undocumented immigrants qualify for career licensing in law, medicine, real estate, and 37 other professions. It gets its support from many foundations such as the Chavez Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, Grove Foundation, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ginnie and Peter Haas, Jr. Fund, Heising-Simons Foundation, Hellman Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman, NextGen America, and Weingart Foundation.
This is just an excerpt from its main site. You can get a full description of what this fund is about here.
Colleges Partnering With The California Campus Catalyst Fund:
- Antelope Valley College
- Bakersfield College
- Butte College
- Chatbot College
- College Of The Desert
- CSU San Bernardino
- CSU San Marcos
- CSU Stanislaus
- Cuesta College
- Cypress College
- Fullerton College
- Hartnell College
- Laney College
- Long Beach City College
- LA Southwest College
- LA Trade Tech College
- Miracosta College
- Monterey Peninsula College
- North Orange Continuing Education
- Oxnard College
- Reedly College
- Rip Hondo College
- San Diego City College
- San Diego Mesa College
- San Diego Miramar College
- San Joaquin Delta College
- Santa Ana College
- Sierra College
- Sonoma State University
- Southwestern College
- UC Merced
- West Hills College