Oberlin College is a private liberal arts institution that has prided itself on a legacy of progressivism. It is known for having been one of the first American colleges to regularly admit female and Black students. As members of this community, we are part of this rich history. We draw on this history to think critically about what voices are systemically excluded from the education system today. In the same way that Oberlin College once took the first steps to accept female and Black students, we look to uphold the same standard today by making Oberlin College more accessible to undocumented youth. In accordance with Oberlin’s Admissions and Financial Aid policy, all undocumented students would be eligible, regardless of DACA status.
According to the United States Census Bureau, there are about 2.5 million undocumented youth under the age of 18 living in the U.S. Undocumented immigrants are foreign nationals who entered the country without legal authorization or entered legally but remained in the U.S. without legal authorization. Many youth had no choice in entering or remaining in the U.S., but are left to the ramifications of decisions that were made outside of their control. Approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year, but hit a glass ceiling when they realize that their undocumented status inhibits their ability to attain higher education.
Fundraising for this scholarship began in 2013 with the intention of creating a scholarship program that would emulate aspects of three other Oberlin scholarship programs in its provision for undocumented students: the QuestBridge Scholars Program, Posse Scholars Program, and Bonner Scholars Program. The Undocumented Students’ Scholarship Program would identify high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential, support a “posse” or team of these students at Oberlin, and integrate community service with tuition support.
In the fall of 2015, Oberlin College signed a partnership with Golden Door Scholars, an organization that connects undocumented students with their partner schools and provides mentorship throughout college, bringing the institution closer to realizing the support program that student activists once outlined. By the end of FY `15-`16, the fund exceeded the endowment goal of $50,000 and was awarded for the first time this fall. However, our fundraising efforts must continue to ensure that undocumented students have continued access to scholarship opportunities at Oberlin College. Through your support we hope to raise an additional $5000 to be added to the scholarship fund.
We must remember that immigration and access to education are not new issues and that they weave into a history of inequality in this country. Many before us have worked tirelessly and persist in advocating for their communities and themselves. We need to contribute to this movement and remember that it is not just an action against global and national systems of oppression, but an action to support human dignity and respect in our communities.
Laura S Trupin
Eric s estes
Gwyneth R Hughes
Catherine A Sunshine
Nikki S Collins
Rebecca B Primoff
Jesse B Hernandez
Katherine C Lee
With thanks who those who have mobilized & continue to mobilize
Thanks for the presentation :)
Thomas F Julian