The Chicago Sun-Times authored a profile of Diana Rodriguez, an undocumented student at Benito Juarez Community Academy who is headed to Pomona College in California on a full-ride scholarship to begin studies towards becoming a surgeon. Keith Adams, EdD Urban Education Leadership student, is the assistant principal at Juarez:
As college acceptance letters poured in for Diana Rodriguez during her senior year at Benito Juarez Community Academy, so did scholarship offers based on her straight A’s and considerable involvement in school activities.
The college and career coach at Juarez kept a tally of the scholarships worth a whopping $1.2 million.
“Nothing stands in her way,” Juarez Principal Juan Carlos Ocon told me. “Obstacles? She loves tearing them down.”
She faced one pretty big barrier. Rodriguez, 18, is a Dreamer, a young adult and unauthorized immigrant brought to the United States as a child. Dreamers do not qualify for federal- or state-based financial aid programs. They rely on privately funded scholarships.
But Rodriguez, who wants to become a surgeon, will head to Pomona College in Claremont, California, later this summer. This week Pomona was ranked seventh by Forbes in its list of top colleges for 2016. It came in just behind Stanford, Williams College, Princeton, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale.
“I have been wanting to go to that school since my sophomore year,” Rodriguez said. “Understanding the school’s rigor, how hard it is to get into and how much people take pride in going there, it had to be a school I had to go to.”
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