Dreamers Resource Center celebrates five years

Gauri Raje, News Editor

Last month, UTSA’s Dreamer’s Resource Center celebrated its fifth anniversary. 

“The Dreamers Resource Center provides our Dreamer and undocumented students with the tools they need to pursue an education and build a better future,” Damaris Ibarra, assistant director of the Dreamers Resource Center, said. “[The center] also educates Dreamer and

undocumented students and their allies about access to higher education and advocates for equitable opportunities.”

A proposal to start the center was first developed in 2017 with the support of Immigrant Youth Leadership, a student organization. The proposal was submitted to UTSA leadership later that year, and the center was established in January 2018. 

Since its founding, the center has “served more than 450 students through workshops, peer mentoring and partnerships with other campus resources.” 

The organization has supported its students in several ways, including scholarships, direct support services and community partnerships. The center has received funding and awards for student scholarships. 

“One of the biggest barriers that our Dreamer and undocumented students face is access to financial resources for higher education,” Ibarra said. “Some of the university’s donors have created scholarships specifically for UTSA Dreamers and undocumented students. Their scholarships currently support seven students.”

Some of the center’s direct services include “Dreamer Ally trainings, academic and financial aid guidance, Dreamer success workshops, peer-mentor pairing, referrals to university and community partners and one-on-one support sessions.” This is supplemented with aforementioned community partnerships with local nonprofit organizations, including UP Partnership, American Gateways, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services and the Mexican Consulate. 

The center’s website also provides guidance in applying to UTSA and information about DACA. Other resources include information in UTSA’s Dreamer Council, educator and student ally resources and additional external resources. 

Finally, the center created the Monarch Association, a student organization that aims to “create community, a sense of belonging, and advocacy for Dreamer [and] undocumented students.”

For more information about the center, its work and the resources it offers, visit https://www.utsa.edu/dreamers/