My education was so that I could contribute to society.

My last year at Southern Methodist University I began working on an engaged learning fellowship. Because of that I was selected to be the commencement speaker for my graduation and represent almost 600 other students who would be graduating that day. In my speech, I thanked the faculty and staff at my university. I’ve had teachers who I’ve looked up to my whole life, who provided amazing educational opportunities regardless of the papers that I had or didn’t have.

I want to be able to work and I want to work in public service. In order to do that I would need to have DACA. I would need to have work authorization in this country. I feel like that’s what my education was for. My education wasn’t for me. My education was so that I could contribute to society. My education was so that I could give back to the community that has given me so much, to the country that has given me so much.

After DACA I was able to take a job at the Salvation Army for two seasons in a row, and we raised over $150, 000 within two five-week periods to provide social services to low income families in Texas. And I was the coordinator for that program both of those seasons.

I hope that our Congress and our President work to find a permanent solution to provide DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship, to give us an opportunity to use our education, to use everything what we’ve learned in order to give back, in order to contribute, in order to provide for ourselves and our families and our communities.

I do worry that DACA might be taken away because I’ve seen people get deported and the trauma that it causes to families.

My name is José S. I was born in Michoacan, Mexico and came to the U.S. when I was eight years old.