Dreamers of Wisconsin advocates for undocumented students pursuing higher education
“Dreamers of Wisconsin is Wisconsin’s premier nonprofit organization whose mission is truly to be committed to serving undocumented students pursuing graduate studies in Wisconsin,” Cristhabel Martinez, executive director of Dreamers, told Madison365. of Wisconsin.
The organization works to financially and legally support undocumented and DACAmented students and provides mental health resources, in addition to a unique student program, and are expanding their efforts to support students statewide.
“In our leadership team there are graduates from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who were part of the leadership when they were on the UW-Madison campus through the UW Dreamers. -Madison, which is one of our chapter organizations, ”Martinez said. . “And basically, you know, when we were involved as students and undergraduates, most of the time a lot of students or administrators would come and ask us and direct people to our organization.”
Dreamers of Wisconsin is committed to achieving the overall long-term goal of undocumented justice with a focus on policy reform, student services and abolition. The organization was founded in 2016 and then branched out to support students statewide.
“Back then we were a student organization, we didn’t have the resources, the funds or the capacity, or the time, really, to be able to serve students when we ourselves are students and we don’t. ‘have no resources ourselves,’ Martinez said. “And we saw this unmet need. And we decided to start a nonprofit organization where we could not only serve the students in Madison, but at the state level. That’s kind of how we started.
Their work as a student organization has demonstrated the need to help students across the state of Wisconsin. They are branching out into rural communities to support students who would otherwise be overlooked.
“It’s a lot of community building and outreach, certainly connecting with different campuses across the state,” Martinez said. “We are particularly in rural areas, like Green Bay and Oshkosh, reaching out with counselors and administrators there to start raising awareness about the systemic change that needs to start happening in facilities and how we can too. meet the needs of students on campus. “
Martinez said undocumented DACAmented students are not eligible for state financial aid or federal aid, meaning they are not eligible for loans or grants that normally require you be an American citizen.
“This creates a huge financial barrier because instead of paying $ 10,000 in tuition at UW-Madison, students have to pay $ 35,000 despite having resided in Wisconsin their entire lives,” said said Martinez. “This is sort of the origin of our fundraising initiatives and the reason why we offer scholarships to meet this unmet need that students often do not have, such as financial resources to allocate to their students. studies. We are tirelessly trying to raise funds to ensure that we are able to offer as many scholarships as possible to the students who truly deserve it and who also have the right to pursue higher education.
To donate to Dreamers of Wisconsin and support their fundraising for undocumented DACAmented students, click here: The organization has just launched its Writing Center, which is in place to support undocumented DACAmented students in Wisconsin applying to college and scholarships. For more information on the Wisconsin Dreamers Writing Center, click here.