Last month, College View High School celebrated 100% of their founding class being admitted into college. Almost 90% of these graduates will be the first generation of their families to attend college next year. This class is full of dedicated and resilient students- and two of them are deeply involved in immigrant rights activism, both locally and nationwide. Fabi and Jasmine, activists and good friends, shared some highlights of their work, and their hopes and dreams for the years to come.
Fabi was the first to get involved in activism, and encouraged Jasmine to do the same. Observing how many immigrants were not always treated with dignity, and personally experiencing frustrations with her own DACA journey, Fabi was fired up and ready to raise her voice and fight. Both students are DACA recipients, and in recent years have felt particularly compelled to raise their voices both for themselves, their families, and others in similar situations. After participating in the DACA walkout in September 2017 and rallying downtown with many other students, they met representatives from Padres y Jovenes Unidos (Parents & Youth United). Aligned with their mission of educational equity, racial justice, immigrant rights and quality healthcare for all, Jasmine and Fabi began attending meetings regularly, staying informed of current issues and organizing events to help affect change.
From organizing outside of Michael Bennett’s office in favor of the DREAM Act, to attending various rallies downtown and listening to the stories of others, these two friends have been incredibly busy working locally for immigrant rights. They’ve also worked on a national scale - most memorable for Jasmine was a trip to Tennessee, where youth from across the country shared their stories, and everyone saw just how much they had in common. Fabi treasures her trip to DC- joining together with others from across the country and speaking with politicians to defend DACA was something that she’ll never forget.
Next year, Fabi will be attending UC Boulder. A Puksta Scholarship recipient, she will receive $5,000 each year for tuition, and guidance as she embarks on a project to help undocumented high school seniors navigate the system and handle difficulties. Jasmine is still deciding where to attend next year, but it will be a school where everyone can come together, let their voices be heard, and make a change. Both seniors intend to become lawyers so that they can gain expertise on governmental systems, and change them for the better.
Being part of the founding class of College View, they are grateful for their educators who encouraged them to be role models and speak up for what they believe in. Their teachers took the time to show them the world around them, and inspired them to make a change.
Their advice for young activists? Jasmine emphasizes the importance of questioning everything around you, keeping an open mind, and having the courage to go out there and do what you think is right. Fabi adds that when life tries to knock you down, don’t lower your head. There will be times of injustice against your community, but it’s essential to speak up.
We hope this year’s Senior Signing Day will be especially important to these seniors, because Gaby Pacheco, immigrant activist and key architect of the DREAM Act, will be speaking! We hope to see you on May 1 at the Denver Coliseum!
Want to attend Senior Signing Day 2019?