On Tuesday, Yesica Calderon was astonished to learn that she would receive a full scholarship to Regis College. Because who wouldn’t be ecstatic to go to college for free?
Calderon is a child of undocumented immigrants, which makes her a 'DREAMer.' Under the DREAM Act, DREAMers are undocumented minors who are protected from deportation and have been given legal status to attend school in the United States. After all, everyone should have the right to a good education.
According to The Boston Globe, Calderon’s teacher sent her a text message that told her to meet her in the library’s study space dedicated to student athletes. When Calderon entered the study space, WCVB Channel 5 captured the moment when she was surprised by her friends and family, who looked on as she received her scholarship.
The East Boston High School student had wanted to go to college, but her options were limited. Though Calderon has a 4.8 GPA, she isn’t eligible for federal financial aid under the DREAM Act. Her mother is a factory worker and couldn't afford the price of college tuition at Regis College. I mean, the cost of a 4-year degree can often surpass the cost of an average home.
The studious high school athlete, who was the captain of the girls’ soccer team as a junior and senior, was awarded a full $156,000 scholarship at Regis College in Massachusetts.
Without this generous scholarship, Calderon may not have been able to attend college. “There are nights where I would cry, not knowing what I would do with my future,” Calderon told WCVB Channel 5 Boston.
As Calderon cried tears of joy, she gave an empowering speech to students in similar situations. “Don’t give up, you can do it. You have a purpose in life and you should not feel down. Don’t feel less just because you don’t have the same opportunities,” Calderon told WCVB Channel 5 Boston.
Yesica, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Nobody should give up on their dreams, even if those aspirations seem unobtainable at the time.