Spike in Latino's heading back to School

Spike in Latino's heading back to School

Utah schools are seeing an increase in Latinos going back to the classroom.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC 4 UTAH) - Many Utah schools are seeing an increase in Latinos going back to the classroom. The spike comes after the Obama administration granted qualifying teens and young adults the option to work if they came to the U.S. from other countries as children. Nadia Torres, a Dreamer from Utah is currently part of the DACA program. "The hardest part was finding jobs. It started since I was 17 years old, when I wanted a part time job,” says Torres.

Torres was brought to the U.S. from Mexico at just two weeks old by her parents. She says growing up she became discouraged and gave up hope for a good job because she didn't have a social security number, but now that’s all changed. "I didn't have a social. I thought, I’m not going get a good job without having a social, so I just stopped going to school and now that I have my DACA, I’m going back to school, I’m going to finish,” says Torres.

Torres is not the only one heading back to school. A recent spike at Horizonte has more Latinos seeking a brighter future. “It appears we are getting more students that are applying for the deferred action. We don't keep records and were not sure when they come what their status is . However, we do provide a FAFSA letter to show they are enrolled and then they take that and give it to whoever they need to,“ says David Chavez, the Vice Principal at Horizonte High School.

Graduating with a GED or a high school diploma is one of the requirements to be considered for the DACA program. As of June, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports in Utah alone 6,000 people have applied and 4,000 have been approved.

Immigration activists, Tony Yapias say we are going to see a huge difference among young Latinos. “We’re seeing kids in high school wanting to complete their high school education. They want to get their high school diploma now and in a few years were going to see the statistics go up,” says Yapias.

Torres is already a part of that statistic as she works to obtain her GED with plans to attend nursing school. "I’m excited as soon as I saw my permit in the mail I was like yes god thank you, I just got to get this done,” says Torres.

A scholarship fund is also in place for Utah children and Utah’s undocumented students seeking a brighter future. For more information visit http://www.educationopps.org


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