May 10, 2017 | Participant Stories

Ana’s Experience in Her Own Words

The following is the transcript of a speech Ana Mejia gave to our call-in volunteers during the 2016 call-in training to thank them for their efforts.

Ana Mejia

“Growing up I dreamed of going to college to become a psychologist. Due to my lack of immigration status and lack of knowledge, I thought my dream would be unreachable. As I got older a new opportunity came along. One day while listening to radio, my mom and I heard about a new program called DACA. I became curious to learn more about it and quickly called the CUNY/Daily News Citizenship NOW! call in. I spoke to a volunteer who provided me with more information about this benefit and transferred me to another person who made an appointment for an event that would be held at John Jay college for those interested in DACA and DAPA.

From the moment my mother and I walked in, people greeted us making us feel welcomed. As soon as we sat down, volunteers kept on coming around making sure we didn’t have any questions while filling out the paperwork. Before starting to go over the paperwork, we got asked if we needed to talk to someone who spoke Spanish. Although we didn’t wish to speak to someone who spoke Spanish, it was comforting to know the option was available. The process took no longer than thirty minutes. In those thirty minutes my mother and I gained so much knowledge. We learned about how to apply for DACA and DAPA and about all the benefits of applying.

After we left the event, I was able to send my application. My mother has not been able to send hers because of the hold that was placed on the DAPA program. I, however, was granted DACA and now I have a social security and a work permit. With these documents I feel empowered to look for a job to finance my education, apply to college and start my career in psychology. My ultimate goal is to change people’s lives just like you, the call-in volunteers have changed my life. Today, I find myself looking into college, looking for a job and entering adulthood without letting the fear of my Immigration status stop me from dreaming.”