Student Scholar

Raised by his grandparents with 16 other siblings and cousins in rural Mexico, Garcia* spent his early childhood separated from his parents as they sought higher paying work in the U.S. He was forced to grow up quickly, working long hours in the fields to help support his large family. At 7 years old, Garcia and his 3 siblings immigrated to reunite with their parents to pursue the American Dream together.

Growing up in Minneapolis, he learned what it really means to be undocumented. Feeling pressure to assimilate, he quickly learned English.

“My Spanish isn’t the best anymore. I feel it was taken from me so I could blend in. I’m caught between 2 cultures. The living conditions in Mexico were tough, but here I live in constant fear of my parents being ripped away from me and my siblings.”

At 16 years old, he couldn’t apply for a driver’s license or part-time job without a social security number. At 18, he hoped to attend college but learned he was ineligible for federal student financial aid, including loans or grants. His heart skipped a beat when he found out he was awarded a Star Scholarship, powered by the Minneapolis College Foundation, supporting dreamers like him.

“Minneapolis College’s Star Scholar program made me believe that I can be the first person in my family to graduate college. This scholarship gave me financial security and the tools needed to successfully navigate an environment my family isn’t familiar with. I am so grateful for the opportunity the Foundation gave me. I wasn’t just a statistic in the eyes of donors. Their support allowed me to persist and made this place feel like home.”

Invest in hope for our high-achieving, undocumented students and their pursuit of the American Dream. Please donate today and be part of the foundation of transformation at Minneapolis College.
*with sensitivity to his undocumented status, we are not listing his real name