FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 20, 2021
Undocumented students were the focus of a recent Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Zoom session with students through the Avanza program.
Avanza, Spanish for “advance”, is a support program within the college that works directly with low-income students to achieve their educational goals. The Undocu-Student Support Event, held via Zoom, was created to support students who may have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or undocumented status as they work to further their education.
The session provided answers to questions regarding college and community resources available to all students including free iPads, food pantries, laptop rentals, legal support, counseling, and scholarships. In addition, guest speakers offered testimonials of their own similar situations and how they’ve been able to overcome educational barriers. Many students who utilize the Avanza program are first-generation college students who may not be aware of resources available to them while enrolled in college.
“Undocumented and DACA students are hard workers and face additional barriers due to their immigration status,” says Alma Olacio, Avanza program specialist. “If they enroll in school, it’s because they know this is a stepping stone to obtain better job opportunities and a better quality of life.”
Avanza staff also assist students with choosing a major and/or career, registering for classes, applying for financial aid or scholarships, building resumes, tutoring and providing guidance with the process of validating foreign education.
Olacio adds, “It is very important as an institution that serves such a diverse population to show we acknowledge the added barriers they face and speak up about the resources available that can help alleviate some of their struggles.”
The discussion can be viewed at Avanza Undocu Student Support Event April 22, 2021.