For many students, summertime means graduation time. Getting into college is already a task on its own. But what about getting a job? We hear from three Latino graduates from Missouri and North Carolina about what it meant to finish college and about their transition from the school gates to the brave new world.
Photo courtesy of Flickr/My Standard Break From Life.
When Sergio entered the University of North Carolina in 2006, there were only one or two other students there besides him who were undocumented, and he was careful to keep quiet about his status. Many of his friends and relatives had told him not to bother trying to go to college and to just get a job at Burger King or MacDonald’s, but Sergio didn’t listen to them. With the help of a full scholarship, he graduated in 2011 with a degree in English. He’s been working in the restaurant business since then. But when his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals permit comes through, he hopes to work in education or a related profession.
Georgina Leal graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American/Latino studies. She is currently completing a year of service with the Vincentian Mission Corps in St. Louis, and hopes to pursue a PhD in socio-cultural Anthropology.
Jayson came to the U.S. from Guatemala with his family eight years ago. With scholarship money, he became the first in his family to go to college, graduating from the University of Richmond in 2012 with a degree in business administration. Because he’s undocumented, Jayson couldn’t get a job in his field and spent the last year painting houses. But once he gained a legal presence in the US through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Jayson got several job offers and accepted one in hospital administration. He and his partner are expecting their first child this summer.