Press release from the Red Bank Dreamers
Red Bank-area Dreamers and the Arizona Dream Act Coalition are partnering up for a study-abroad opportunity.
This year, five Brookdale Community College students will participate in the Summer of Dreams 2022 program.
The students will be traveling to Mexico. For most of them, it will be the first time they have had the opportunity to visit their country of origin and families after 10+ years.
While there, students will be conducting ethnographic research on their family origins, in addition to taking immersive language and cultural classes. Research findings will be published and provide human stories to script narratives for documentaries and academic presentations.
“Going back to my homeland is an essential step for me to grow as an individual,” said Deysi Perez, one of the participating students. “It is a chance to reconnect with the people and culture I left behind so many years ago. I am truly grateful to be supported by my wonderful community and peers as I venture on this journey and although it is frightening going back after 17 years, I am extremely excited and hopeful to spend time with my family in Mexico once again. I know this experience will be life changing.”
The program is among only two in the country that provides the opportunity to travel abroad for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients under advance parole. DACA is an administrative relief that protects immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation.
The cost of the trip is $3,575 per student. To help defray expenses, a fundraiser is being held at Triumph Brewery Company in Red bank on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. Triumph will donate all proceeds to help Brookdale students travel and conduct research in Mexico this summer.
Contributions are also being accepted via GoFundMe, with 100-percent of funds raised being used to cover trip expenses.