Rosa Alvarez

Rosa AlvarezMy mother and I immigrated to Wisconsin in 1995, when I was just 9 years old. This August will mark 20 years since my arrival to the United States. It has been my dream to become a teacher since I was just 5 years old. My teachers have always been my heroes; they saw potential in me that I myself did not believe I had and encouraged me to set and achieve my goals. My desire to become an educator grew throughout my childhood, and I made the decision to study education in college.

Because of my immigration status, however, my journey to college graduation was very difficult. In 2009, after a lot of hard work, I received a bachelor of science in education with minors in bilingual education and English as a second language. Unfortunately, because of my continued lack of immigration status, I had to wait over three years to use my degree and become a teacher. During those three years, I lost a lot of hope of ever becoming a teacher; I thought that relief would never come, and I even considered returning to Mexico.

In 2012, relief finally arrived, and I became hopeful again. Thanks to President Obama's executive action, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, I am finally a second-grade dual language teacher in the Austin Independent School District.

DACA has restored the energy and passion I once had for education. It has re-instilled the notion in me that I can make a difference. Every day in my classroom, my students serve as a reminder of the impact my teachers made in my life. I often find that my students and their parents have very similar stories to mine. Because of this, I can relate to their experiences and serve as part of their support system. In this way, I believe I can make an impact in their lives, just like my teachers made an impact in mine. If it weren't for DACA, I would not have this opportunity to serve and contribute to my community in this capacity.