DACA RECIPIENT HOPES FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE
My name is Gladys Jimenez and I am an Immigration Specialist. I began my career with CHD on May of 2017. I had recently moved back home from being at the University of California, Davis (UCD). When I think about my career with CHD, I think about my good friend from High School who encouraged me to apply. Jesus attended Mendocino College in Ukiah before transferring. Originally, a staff member and advisor from the college had sent him the CHD job posting, but instead he gave me the opportunity to apply as he would soon leave to go to Chico State University. My friend is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient so before they implemented DACA in 2012, he didn’t think higher education was a possibility for him until the executive action was passed. He didn’t want to miss the opportunity for a higher education. When he mentioned the Job opportunity, I remember thinking it was everything I wanted and he told me “this job is made for you.” I felt a sense of gratitude towards him and was elated to know that in my current position, I would be able to give back by helping him with his DACA Renewal Process. Today his story is a great representation of an American Success Story and although, he currently only has temporary protective status, I believe he is a great example of the values we as Americans hold dear. To quote the formal first lady Michelle Obama, “in this nation- to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.” I think my friend Jesus is a primal example of working hard to achieve his goals. I had the chance to interview him and here is a bit of his story.
My name is Jesus. I was born in Zacatecas, Mexico in 1992. I was brought over to the US at the age of two to Hopland, California where I would live until 2006. After 2006, I moved to Ukiah, CA. I briefly left to live in Chico to attend Chico State University where I majored in Psychology. Once, I graduated I moved back to Ukiah and have lived here since.
I decided to seek services with CHD when my good friend and CHD employee informed me about the DACA Legal Service grant. This grant would help me complete the renewal process and pay for my filing fee of $495 dollars. CHD services has helped me in my day to day life by being aware of their services and being able to refer other people that might need the same assistance and are not aware that there is immigration assistance. Prior to CHD the challenges that were faced were mostly economical. It was very costly to pay for assistance, in addition to the USCIS filing fee. Now, thanks to the assistance of CHD there are no such challenges in that regard.
Some of my educational successes so far has been completing High School, Community College and University. In my career I would say my successes have been acquiring work in the field I studied. With hard work I have been able to obtain employment as a Clinical Supervisor and a Service Coordinator. In my future I see progress. I have come a long way from where I started. I can sincerely say that the only direction to go is forward.
My proudest accomplishment has been to graduate University and receive a well-paying job right after. Never in my life did I think this achievement could be a possibility for me. Due to the situation with COVID -19, I have had to make career changes. I was forced to switch jobs because I needed income security. I am happy to say that I was hired in a new field of work even If at times I doubted myself. My ideal job is to become a Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBA). This is the area of work that got me to pursue higher education in the first place.
My biggest barrier this year has been COVID-19. It has forced me to switch jobs and get into a field of work that I was not initially planning to get into. This has made my overall goal of becoming a (BCBA) a longer goal to acquire.
In the past I did not see potential in my future. However, now I have come to realize that nothing is impossible. I can see myself reaching my goal of become a BCBA eventually.
CHD has given me a reason to live a life without worrying about where I am going to get immigration assistance from or how I will pay for the filing fees.