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Hear My Story

Hear from our UndocuCommunity here at MSJC as they share their stories.

I am a daughter, a friend, and a sister. I am a dreamer whose dreams will be made a reality one day. My parents brought me to the "Land of Opportunity" as a 6-year-old from Honduras. It has been 22 years since I made The United States of America my permanent home. My time here has been fruitful, it has created my identity, although I will always carry my roots in my blood. My name is Daisy Torres, I am a highly ambitious woman with big dreams for my future. Currently, I am a Business Administration major at MSJC. I am working towards transferring and obtaining my bachelor's degree and plan to work for a financial firm or cooperation. I am passionate about inspiring others like myself to pursue their dreams and goals, to not let their status define who they are. My parents always told me, “echale ganas porque nuestra voces y el futoro esta en ustedes,” which translates to, “work hard because our voices and are future depends on you guys.” I am working hard not only for myself, but also to give my parents the American Dream they deserve to live as well.

Behind my achievements and success, there is a small timid girl rooting for me, the 6-year-old me that came to the United States. The journey of an undocumented human being has not been easy. Learning to adapt to a new culture, developing a new foreign language, and connecting with people of different paths has been challenging. I soon came to realize that my worries that kept me up at night could not be understood by my peers. However, that gave me a voice and passion to let others know of our success and struggles. Now, I am no longer living in the shadows and afraid of showing who I am. Leaving in the country that witnessed me coming to Earth and that saw my early childhood years was difficult.

In my home country, I was a free-spirited child with no worries other than making sure I went inside before the sun went down. I had many friends and loved to dance and sing. However, my childhood characteristics changed when I entered the United States. I wanted to make friends, but I could not find the voice or the words to speak to the other children. I soon became very timid and developed social anxiety due to the constant feeling of being lost and confused. Those feelings followed me up to my high school years, I knew that my peers could not understand the struggles of self-identity, not knowing if I belonged here or in my birth country. Furthermore, they could not understand the constant fear of being of being forced to leave the place that knew me more than my birth country. I knew that I was not alone though, that there are many others like me who share the same struggles and worries. Life as undocumented student has been difficult, but it has further proved that all my achievements and goals will be a result of my work ethic and self-perseverance.

A fight for human rights, for equality, and the opportunity to live without fear. A fight for those who are afraid to use their own voice. To be able to freely express our own journeys and those who fight besides is important. Using our voices and sharing our unique life stories not only allow us to be seen, but it's an advocacy for those who are afraid to come out of the shadows. By using our voices, we inspire others like us to express themselves and share their journeys. Fighting for representation, to be seen and heard is important and creates a sense of community with a common goal. As a member of MSJC's Eagle Dreamers, we have created a safe and welcoming environment for students who share similar stories like us. We have guided students to opportunities and resources that are available to them, as well as let them know that there is help for students like ourselves out there and on campus. I am no longer afraid to use my voice and to leave the shadows. By sharing my story and welcoming others to be a part of the community we have created, I am unapologetic and an advocate for undocumented people like me.

Daisy Torres smiling

Daisy Torres in a dress with blue polka dots

I have brown skin, dark hair, and brown eyes, and society defines me as a female, a multitasker, undocumented, and an ally. I was born on the Pacific coast of Nayarit, Mexico. We have tropical weather, and most people speak Spanish, though some (Huichol, Cora) still speak their native languages. I used to live near several lakes, rivers, and the ocean. My hometown is energetic and joyful. Running, jumping, and dancing in front of their houses, children laugh throughout town. Music and dance are in our blood. I watched the younger kids as the oldest sibling, cousin, and neighbor. I was 12 when my family moved to the United States. The first time my mother and I were apart was two days before Christmas. I visited Big Bear on New Year's Eve that year.

I saw snow for the first time and my mother was there. My undocumented life has been full of ups and downs, learning opportunities, pain, and sacrifices. I start school in the spring of seventh grade. English was difficult. My ELD classmates and I were verbally and physically assaulted because we didn't speak English. They laughed at our strange clothing and said many unpronounceable things that we didn't understand, which made them laugh even harder.

They threw our belongings on the floor, filled the garbage can, pulled our hair, followed us to the restroom, and locked the doors to frighten us.

They always assaulted us after school. Because of my accent, I didn't want to speak English. I'm sharing this to show how society is changing and will eventually forget this. It'll be history. These people cut my wings and crushed many dreams during my undocumented journey, back then I had no idea the power of resilience I possessed.

In 2009, I graduated from high school. My mother raised us while my father worked long hours in construction. I'm the oldest of my siblings. I'm a first-generation college student. I'm married with three children and three bull terriers. As a housewife, I could only aspire to be the best mother and cook, which I couldn't do because I'm imperfect. I lost my feminine side and wished I could sleep forever when I was depressed due to my obsession with perfection as a wife and mother. The death of a family member and the introduction of new parent programs at my children's school gave me hope at the end of a dark tunnel. I began college in 2019 as an English learner, but my classes began in the famous year 2020. With the pandemic and mental health issues, returning to school was terrifying. I felt like I had been living in a bubble for so long. I faced various obstacles, such as financial anxiety, and I did not love myself when, semester after semester, I stated that I was not intelligent and incapable of continuing as a student, mother, and wife. But I never give up. I am also a soccer and gymnastics mom. I am involved in my children's school activities. MSJC provides empathic resources that aid me in my college journey. Their encouragement, motivation, and compassion would have brought me here. I'm a member of the Eagle Dreamers Club. A club that advocates for undocumented students, DACA recipients, mixed-status students, and staff. The undocumented community taught me to be self-sufficient in many situations that are simply a way of life for me but valuable to others. This position has given me enormous strength. Public speaking has been one of my most frightening obstacles. I began attending my first undocu-panel during the undocu-week of action back in 2021, followed by the club, and it became more personal when I discovered how long I had been an undocumented person in the shadows. Regarding this topic, I have healed numerous emotional wounds. Speaking up and sharing my college experience with others also taught me a lot of things. Because providing emotional support to others is my passion, I have considered changing my major. I wish MSJC had an undocu-center where undocumented students could feel safe asking for help and discussing topics few people understand and accessing situation-specific resources. My legal situation is not the same as that of a person with legal status. Because our parents brought us here, no one should feel ashamed of being undocumented. For love and a better life, as we are and will continue to be poor in our native country and the United States. I have greater opportunities. Being poor in the United States is better than in my country -sadly. My unapologetic self has gone out of her way to let others know they are not alone. They can count on my assistance and support at all times. Furthermore, I am a member of the MECHA, PTK, Honor, and Puente programs. If you ask me what my name is, I will tell you that I would prefer for you to remember me not by my name but as a fellow human being who has been in a situation that is either similar to yours or that of someone you know. My legal status does not define me. Diagnostic medical sonography, or DMS for short, is my major. I'll be graduating in May, 2023 with an Associates in Science, and I'm currently working on my second Associate's to prepare to transfer. I intend to transfer to Loma Linda University the following spring, in 2024. Now I can speak up and tell everyone how proud I am, and there is no age or time limit on dreaming. We can all fly and make our own future. We all have wings and can shape the future. Speaking about my situation and struggles have helped me heal while also raising awareness for others in similar situations. While I reinforced my skills and actions, I towered the compassion and love for them and myself. I am a woman, a wife, and a mother who is capable of having many dreams that are filled with joy; however, I find it easier to deal with my depression at school than at home. I say this because at school I get guidance and motivation to keep pursuing something in life, whereas at home, who knows, maybe I wouldn't be here telling my story. Please be an undocu-Ally, and thank you for your support. We can't do this without your help.

Update: Due to my legal status, I am forced to change my major. I could pursue my major, but I would ultimately be unable to work in that field.

As a result of my constant anxiety, I can't decide which new path to take. I am in God's hands.

Adriana Uribe holding a certificate

Adriana Uribe in a white dress

I am a first generation 20 year old undocumented college student. The first born daughter, the eldest sibling, those are only some of my identities. Now, if you really want to know who I am, I came from Mexico at the age of 3 and have been here ever since. My initial goal was to become a teacher, a doctor, and later on a veterinarian. Then I began thinking that those jobs may be far beyond my reach and therefore became a business administration major thinking that was the only career I can pursue due to my legal status. Along the way I began realizing that it is something I actually enjoy and feel passionate about. I am Reyna Coronado, and I am making my way to prove that despite my status, “voy a poder seguir sobresaliendo y logrando mis metas”.

Even after coming to California at an age that was easier to grasp the language, I still struggled with not being able to pronounce words the proper way. Getting laughed at for a simple mistake altered the way I used to carry myself while growing up. I went from being proud of being reclassified into the English language, to not wanting to read in front of my class because my English wasn't the same as the other kids. This fear came along with me to college, getting questionable looks when I can't find the proper pronunciation of words and phrases, making me feel like I wasn't smart enough or even understood. No one really bothered to correct my English, only laugh and repeat the words that I had said as a way to "play around with me."

Although my negative experience did have an impact in my life, I also had positive experience in my life as an undocumented individual. I was able to use my negative experiences to push forward and motivate myself to keep trying in order to not let the language or my status prevent me from reaching my goals.

Para empezar no me disculpo por querer defender a la comunidad de indocumentados quienes quieren sobresalir en el país de las oportunidades. Al defender mi propio derecho, espero motivar a los demás a alzar la voz y dejar la sombra en donde nos pusieron o en donde nos han ecchi creer que pertenecemos. Quien dice que los indocumentados no tienen derecho a tener sueños y metas, y quienes son aquellos que creen tener el derecho de silenciarnos. Si te cortaron las alas, espero ayudarte a darte cuenta de que tienes pies y de una manera o otra marcamos nuestro paso, podremos ir más lento pero llegaremos.

Cada día doy gracias a Dios por permitirme un día más de vida y por darme la dicha de tener a mis hijos y a mi esposo que con tanto sacrificio llegamos a este país; un país lleno de oportunidades y lleno de deseos para salir adelante. Yo vivía en Sinaloa, México, pero como ya sabemos, ahí a veces no tenemos oportunidades para salir adelante y menos para tener un buen trabajo. Así que mi hermano vivía en San Jacinto, California y un día hablando con mi esposo decidimos venirnos acá a Estado Unidos con el para trabajar solo por dos anos ya que esa era nuestra meta; para poder arreglar nuestra casa y regresarnos. Y así que en un poco tiempo estando aquí quede embarazada de mi 2do hijo y decidirnos quedarnos un poco más. Al principio todo fue difícil pero poco a poco nos fuimos acostumbrando aquí y empezamos a salir adelante y pasaron y pasaron ya muchos anos y aun sigo aquí esperando en Dios que me dé la oportunidad de pertenecer a este país por lo legal ya que cuando yo me vine cruzamos por un cerro y sufrimos mucho frio y hambres y tristezas de ver como a veces tenemos que sufrir tanto para poder llegar a donde estamos.

-Atte. Madelein Liera

Every day I thank God for allowing me one more day of life and for giving me the joy of having my children and my husband who with so much sacrifice came to this country; a country full of opportunities and full of desires to get ahead. I used to live in Sinaloa, Mexico, but as we know, sometimes we don't have opportunities to get ahead there, let alone have a good job. My brother lived in San Jacinto, California and one day talking with my husband we decided to come here to the United States with him to work only for two years since that was our goal; so we could fix up our house and go back. A short time after being here I got pregnant with my 2nd child, and we decided to stay a little longer. At first, everything was difficult but little by little we got used to it here and we began to get ahead. Many years passed and I am still here waiting on God to give me the opportunity to belong to this country legally because when I came, we crossed a hill and we suffered a lot of cold and hunger and sadness to see how sometimes we have to suffer so much to be able to get where we are.

-Sincerely Yours, Madelein Liera

Immigrants Rising

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Determined Voices

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