Meet Lu, Mountain Dreamer:

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Lu’s Dreamer Story

My name is Luisana. I moved to the U.S. and Summit County with my family when I was 13. I attended Summit Middle School and Summit High School. Nobody tells you what it’s like to be undocumented: the stigma and hate, the financial and healthcare difficulties, and the countless obstacles in education. My dream was to pursue a career in the healthcare field, but that became almost impossible; without a social security number, I was unable to undergo the necessary background checks required for volunteering at hospitals and shadowing professionals. I also couldn’t legally work to gain experience, so I cleaned houses while attending CMC full time. I remember parking outside of school and changing into “normal” clothes after cleaning in my bleach-stained shirt, just so I could avoid the stares.

Eventually, and with the financial help of organizations such as The Summit Foundation and the FIRC, I was able to graduate from Regis University, cum laude, with a degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics. Three months later, after a yearlong struggle with applications and eligibility issues, I received my DACA “status”. This meant that I could legally work and volunteer in the healthcare field, and it made all the difference. I worked as a pediatric scribe and later as an EMT in Denver, where I really learned the hands-on skills necessary to be successful as a healthcare professional. Now, I am starting an Accelerated Nursing Program at Regis University, with the goal of becoming a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

I certainly consider myself an outstanding citizen—sans the documentation. The most terrifying aspect about being a DACA student is that it could end, at any time, for any reason, and I could be deported, leaving me trying to assimilate back into a country that I no longer call my own. Unfortunately, DACA students have become pawns in a political game, and I hope that our leaders realize that what it comes down to is people, and students, doing everything in our power to prove that we belong here. I want to be a Nurse in service of others and passing the American Dream and Promise Act would allow me to do this without worrying about deportation.

Mountain Dreamers: Zuleyma, Lu, & Mateo