I was brought to the U.S. from Brazil when I was nine years old. I've lived in the United States for 20 years. From a young age I was determined to go to college, but in high school I found out that this might never be an option for me—it was impossible for me to access financial aid for my studies because of my undocumented status. I became very discouraged, since it seemed like higher education was out of my reach.
But I didn't give up. After graduating high school I worked to save up so I could start off at a community college. I later transferred to a state university and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Then I was accepted into a doctorate program. However, due to financial limitations I've had to put that on hold.
I worked full time all the way through college and the start of graduate school. I never expected to be given a loan or scholarship or any help at all. All I wanted was the chance to fight for my future.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has definitely given me a feeling of validation after all those years of hard work when I feared I wouldn't be able to pursue my dreams in this country. As we continue our work towards comprehensive immigration reform, I am hopeful that one day I can call this country home for good, and not live in fear of having everything ripped away from me.
It's important for lawmakers in Congress to hear stories like mine. Tell Congress to stand with our future—and with thousands of DREAMers like me who just want their chance to have a future in the country they call home.