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Her Mom Cleaned Houses To Pay For Her Education After Her School Learned She Was Undocumented And Took Her Scholarship

When administrative officials at Camila Ozores Silva’s university found out she was undocumented, they took away her scholarship and made her pay back her tuition fees. The news meant that the student from Argentina had to find a new way to support herself through college all on her own.

Left uncertain as to how she would pay for her college education, the student who had aspired to pursue graduate school after college went to her dad and told him about her new plan: she would leave school for a semester and work to save money. But instead of receiving a supportive shrug from her father and an assuring pat on the back for her decision, Ozores’s dad told her “Me cortaré el brazo antes de que dejes de ir a la escuela,” (I’ll cut my arm off before you stop going to school).

Thanks to the support of her father, the Latina who recently graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida is attending graduate school in the fall. Student loans and debt will not be following her.

Last year, Ozores captured the attention of Twitter when she posted a photo of her father congratulating her after her graduation.

In a series of posts on her Twitter account, the psychology major shared a photo from her big day and her story of deciding to leave school before her parents intervened to help. In a post written by Ozores on her blog site, the new graduate explained how she and her parents “crafted a game plan to get me to the finish line in whatever ways we could manage. My mom began cleaning houses, her 60-year old body bending and stretching to polish the homes of people who voted to kick her out of this country, for my education. I started working thirty hours a week at a fast food restaurant while balancing a full load of classes. We made it work.”

Ozores’ post on Twitter quickly went viral.

Of course, trolls who caught wind of the student’s post quickly flooded it with hate and derogatory words. Many even started to tag ICE and called for her deportation. Fortunately, Ozores is a DACA recipient and is protected from being expelled from the country. She has a social security number as well as work authorization.

In response to the posts, the new graduate explained that her scholarship had been given to her for her academic achievements in high school with her full story given to USF. “The university had all my documents but still gave it to me, I never lied or falsified anything,” she explained on Twitter. “The scholarship also came with in-state tuition, as do all at my school. When they realized their mistake they took both away and made me pay back the scholarship money they had already given me.”

While trolls have done their best to flood Ozores’ story with hate, there’s no doubting how her story has impacted users on the platform.

Despite some ugly comments, many following and commenting on Ozores’ thread on Twitter have offered their support.

In fact, some undocumented students have started sharing their own experiences on her thread

As of early Tuesday, Ozares’ post had received nearly two hundred thousand comments. Hundreds of which included stories from fellow DREAMers and undocumented students

And most of us are simply just excited to see the great things she goes on to do next.

According to Camila’s account, she’ll be attending Colorado State University this coming fall.

Because by the looks of it she has big plans to help out the undocumented community.

Here’s to this year’s undocumented graduate students and DREAMers paving a way for themselves!


Read: Here’s How Activists In The U.S. Are Welcoming Women Refugees Who Traveled On The Central American Caravan

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She Struggled To Pay For College Because She Was Undocumented, So This Latina Created An App To Make The Process Easier For The Next Generation

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She Struggled To Pay For College Because She Was Undocumented, So This Latina Created An App To Make The Process Easier For The Next Generation

A college degree is increasingly essential to a successful future but the cost is more expensive than ever. It’s even more costly for students who don’t qualify for FAFSA due to their undocumented status.

That’s the problem Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca faced when she first pursued financial assistance.

Realizing she was denied financial aid because she was undocumented the young Latina looked for help. “I asked my counselor for guidance on other options to finance my college education and she said that people like me didn’t go to college,” Espinoza Salamanca explained to Forbes.

In order to get FAFSA assistance, applicants need a Social Security number. Unfortunately, this disqualifies the 3.6 Million DREAMers under the Obama Administration’s DACA policy.

“It took me a while to realize that I was probably not the only one in this situation and that is when the initial idea of ‘one day somehow I’m going to have to fix this problem,’” Espinoza Salamanca explained. Motivated, the Latina sought to turn her fledgling idea into a tool to benefit students like herself.

In 2014, Espinoza Salamanca submitted her idea — the DREAMers Roadmap app — to the Voto Latino’s Innovator Challenge. The app links undocumented students to scholarships that don’t require proof of citizenship.

The idea was such a success. Espinoza Salamanca won the Innovator Challenge in 2015 and secured $100,000 to re-invest in the app.

The DREAMers Roadmap app has helped over 20,000 students since it’s creation.

While building the app, Espinoza Salamanca found a common concern among students. The fear of government agencies learning about their status kept many from asking for help. So, in addition to offering financial aid, the app offers users a guarantee of privacy.

“One of the ways we protect our users is by only asking them for an email to create an account and not asking them for any personal information,” Espinoza Salamanca reassured of the app’s discretion. “We also created a feature called ‘Explore’ which allows any user to see all of our scholarships without having to create an account.”

With new financial options for these students, comes new possibilities. Espinoza Salamanca hopes to help facilitate even more college enrollment for members of the Latinidad.

“We as a country, we are losing so much talent and potential by making it so hard to educate these students.” Espinoza Salamanca continued, “We make it nearly impossible for these kids to have an opportunity to be an essential part of this country. This is our home too.”

If you’re interested in downloading the DREAMers Roadmap, you can do so for free! It’s now available for both Google Play and the iPhone app store.


READ: If Catalina Cruz Wins In November, She’ll Be New York State’s First Dreamer To Be Elected To Office

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21 Weird College Majors We Wish We Would Have Known About While Still In School

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21 Weird College Majors We Wish We Would Have Known About While Still In School

When I was in college, we all made fun of the people that came to school just to end up taking easy classes. There was classes on baking arts and physical education. It’s only now, ten years since I graduated, that I realize some of those people may have had it right since the beginning. Although there’s a lot of weird college classes out there, there’s good news for those of us who love that kind of thing: Weird college majors!

If you’re in college now or are reminiscing about your school days, this list is for you. From a major that deals with the science and technology of surfing (yes, really) to a Ph.D in Decision Sciences (yes, as in, the science of making a good decision), here are the 21 weird college majors… that we kind of sort of seriously wish we would have known about while we were still in school. Although I’m ultimately happy with where I ended up, it’s nice to know that there are many more options out there. Plus, if I ever wanted to go back to school, a Master’s in Packaging is always an option.

1. Bagpiping

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If you head over to Carnegie Mellon University, you can take up bagpiping. This is “a program of study where a person can get a complete grounding in music as well as specific instruction on the instrument.” Pretty neat, huh? Though you probably have to REALLY love bagpipes to do this. 

2. Family Enterprise

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Head over to Stetson University of a major that is all about teaching you about “self-awareness, family systems, utilizing family involvement as a strategic advantage and how to consult with family enterprises.” Basically, if you want to run a family business or work with a family business, then this is the thing to study. 

3. Citrus

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If you’ve ever fall in love with an orange or started every single morning by eating half a grapefruit, then perhaps a Citrus degree at Florida Southern College is the one for you. You will learn about “planting, irrigating, weed management, pruning, fertilizers, pest identification and management, and other aspects of tree management working with our on-campus collection of many varieties of citrus trees.”

4. Cannabis Cultivation

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It really shouldn’t be shocking that a university in California would allow their students to get a degree in cannabis, as you can if you go to Oaksterdam University. Considering the legal and thriving industry of medical marijuana and now recreational use in The Golden State, this actually kind of makes sense. You’d take classes in history, politics, and legalities of the herb. 

5. Theme Park Engineering

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If you’re a fan of theme parks, then you can actually get a specialized degree in Theme Park Engineering at California State University. This will include training in civil and mechanical engineering but especially electrical engineering, with topics covered such as electrical power as well as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic control. 

6. Decision Sciences

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If you want to seem like a total smarty pants, then head on over to Indiana University for their Ph.D in Decision Sciences. This is actually serious business, where you will study a range of quantitative methods in order to make great business decisions. As a grad with this degree, you will have the skills to apply research, data, and analysis to solve problems in many different disciplines. 

7. Adventure Education

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Do you love the Great Outdoors? Well, then head over to Plymouth State University for their degree that teaches you how to “expose children, adults and at-risk populations to challenging adventures, personal growth and self-discovery.” You’ll learn everything from rock climbing fundamentals to whitewater kayaking and more. 

8. Farrier Science

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There’s degrees in knowing everything you can about horses out there, but this is even MORE specialized. At Masalands Community College, you will learn the art of horseshoeing. Yes, that’s right, horseshoeing. You will learn things such as blacksmithing, hors hoeing theory, and even equine anatomy and physiology. That’s pretty impressive if you’re, you know, a really huge fan of horseshoeing.

9. Poultry Science

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If you’ve always wanted to learn everything you can about chickens, then here you go. Texas A&M University offers a degree in the science of poultry, where you will get to study, research, and service a potentially important career in this agricultural commodity. You can study everything from biology, chemistry, and zoology, along with public speaking and even technical writing. 

10. Floral Management

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Mississippi State University is all about the pretty flowers… or, as they like to put it, floral management. This is a really interesting degree where you will learn things such as floral design, interior panting design, and more. Courses involve “sourcing, purchasing, distributing, marketing, designing with, and selling floricultural products.” So you want to be a florist or deal in flowers? Here you go!

11. Turfgrass Science

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At Penn State University, you can get a Bachelor of Science degree studying turfgrass… which is, if you didn’t know, the grass that you can likely find at the local country club. It’s actually a lot more complicated than that, though, and you will be able to have a career in professional lawn care, sod production, and athletic field maintenance. The courses are actually pretty serious in science, though, so this isn’t just some easy degree.

12. Bassoon

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Just as you can have a degree in bagpiping, you can also get a bachelor’s degree in the bassoon. For those that don’t know, the bassoon is a 19th century woodwind instrument that mimics that sound of a male baritone. If you head over to the University of Arizona, you can get your degree in instrumental studies with this instrument as your musical weapon of choice. Wow!

13. Fermentation Sciences

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You can get a degree in Fermentation Sciences at Appalachian State University, and study the engineering and systems design behind wine and brewing in order to “understanding the social and cultural implications of food and beverage production.” There’s a lot of classes that focus on biology and chemistry, as well as the business, marketing, and entrepreneurial principles of fermentation. Definitely a fun degree to drink to!

14. Race Track Industry

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This degree at the University of Arizona is one those who love horses and horse race tracks. That’s right, with this baby, you can learn to either follow the business track and learn all about race track management, regulation, and “pari-mutuel racing organizations” or you can follow the more biology-focused path and study racing and breeding animals. Either way, get ready for a lot of horse… stuff.

15. EcoGastronomy

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If you’ve ever wondered how food gets from the farm to your plate, then you might want to consider a degree in EcoGastronomy at the University of New Hampshire. There is a serious study towards sustainability where students get to study food at a number of steps as it goes from the farms to our plates, such as the ecological impact of what we eat. 

16. Packaging

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Do you love boxes and packing and organizing? Well, then perhaps you should head to Michigan State University for a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science or even Ph.D program in packaging at their School of Packaging. This sounds almost silly, but it’s basically exactly what you imagined: Student here study all sorts of packaging because they are passionate about improving the functionality and environmental impact of… yes, packaging. 

17. Auctioneering

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Did you ever pretend to be one for those people at the auction who calls out names and paddle numbers and gets people to bid? You know the ones: They talk a mile a minute and sound oh-so-funny as they scream out “Sold!”. Thankfully, if you want to take your amateur status professional, you can actually head to the Harrisburg Area Community College to study auctioneering in order to learn the “auctioneer’s chant” and learn how to obtain and appraise items, as well as run an actual auction from start to finish.

18. Mortuary Science

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If you want a recession-proof degree, then you might want to consider going back to school to Lincoln College of New England, where you can earn a degree in mortuary science. This is where you, as a student, will learn all about the funeral services field. Sure, it sounds a bit morbid, but you will never want for a job… sadly.

19. Bowling Industry Management and Technology

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Do you love bowling? No, I mean, do you LOVE bowling? Well, lucky for you, Vincennes University offers a degree in Bowling Industry Management and Technology. That’s right, you can turn your favorite hobby into a real career as you study “overall learning and preparation for employment” in the bowling industry at this school. Some of the classes you might take include lane and pinsetter paintemant, pro shop operations and instruction, and so much more.

20. Puppet Arts

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Who doesn’t love puppets? I mean, okay, some of us find them a bit creepy… But if you love puppets, then you’re in luck. The University of Connecticut allows you to study puppetry or the art of the puppet. Meaning, you’ll be a student in charge of learning how to create, build, and manage puppets as well as learn all about puppet shows. This is definitely a really interesting degree, and one that can include work in the theater, in film or TV, at a school, or even museum programs.

21. Surf Science and Technology

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You can get a lot of cool and interesting degrees if you head over to the U.K. (such as a Master’s degree in The Beatles at Liverpool Hope University), but the most useful one might just be a two-year course that is offered at Plymouth University. This schooling includes surf practice, culture, and coastal environmental classes. You’ll learn so much about the art of surfing, as well as the science and technology behind it. And what you do with it afterwards, whether for personal pleasure or for business, is totally up to you.

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