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Dreamer videos highlight challenges and hopes

Dreamer videos highlight challenges and hopes

Published: July 3, 2017
Maria Vanegas, 2017 Iowa IRP Video Award first-place winner, with Sandra Sanchez

Maria Vanegas, 2017 Iowa IRP Video Award first-place winner, with Sandra Sanchez. More photos from the awards ceremony here.

 

Photo: AFSC

 By Sandra Sanchez, AFSC Iowa IRP Organizing and Advocacy Director

Español sigue.

On June 17, 2017, three young Dreamers in Iowa shared their stories through video with a couple of key messages: the difficulties they face as immigrants or having immigrant parents, and achieving their aspirations to attain either a vocational degree or a college degree.

AFSC Iowa's video contest judges Brenda, Iza and Stacy had a difficult job choosing the winners of the first, second, and third place: Maria Vanegas, Karina Lopez, and Kevin D. Smith. They will be awarded scholarships of $900, $750, and $650 respectively.

Their stories were moving, and their courage and perseverance were inspiring! I invite you to watch them and learn from them, join them in their quest, or feel validated as a youth with a similar experience. The proud family members were happy and moved by their effort, but maybe not as much as I was.

I saw them grow in their skills and self-confidence as we moved along with the program. And for that I am very thankful as well as for the help and support of volunteers Laura Meza, Karen Yerena, Nancy Camarillo, Brenda Rivera, Marilu Arroyo, Hazel Posada, and the generosity of Sandra Velez.

Congratulations to the three of them! And my appreciation to our key note speaker, Mr. Diogenes Ayala, as well as Jon L. Marion, who gave us inspiring speeches and encouraged us to action!

For more photos from the awards ceremony, please click here.

El pasado 17 de junio, tres jóvenes soñadores compartieron sus historias a través de un video con un par de mensajes importantes: las dificultades que enfrentan como inmigrantes o con padres inmigrantes y lograr sus aspiraciones de obtener un diploma vocacional o licenciatura universitaria.

Nuestras jueces Brenda, Iza y Stacy tuvieron una difícil tarea para escoger a los ganadores del primero, segundo y tercer lugar: María Vanegas, Karina López y Kevin D. Smith, respectivamente; quienes recibirán una beca de $900, $750 y $650 dólares en ese orden. ¡Mis felicitaciones a los tres!

Sus historias fueron conmovedoras y su valentía y perseverancia son una inspiración. Les invito a ver sus videos y aprender de ellos, sufrir con ellos o sentir cierta validación como jóvenes con experiencias similares. Los orgullosos miembros de familia y amigos estaban felices y emocionados por su esfuerzo, pero quizá no tanto como yo…dado que fui testigo de cómo crecieron en habilidades y confianza en sí mismos conforme avanzaban en el programa.

Y por eso tengo mucho que agradecer a mis queridas voluntarias Laura Meza, Karen Yerena, Nancy Camarillo, Brenda Rivera, Marilú Arroyo, Hazel Posada y la generosidad de Sandra Velez.

Y mi agradecimiento también a nuestro orador principal el Sr. Diógenes Ayala y nuestro orador invitado Jon L. Marion, ambos nos ofrecieron discursos que inspiran y ¡motivan a la acción!

Para obtener más fotos de la ceremonia de premiación, haga clic aquí.