The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will begin to offer a Hope for the Future Scholarship in Fall 2017, to assist students who are not eligible for financial aid, specifically students with undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival DACA statuses. DACA is a 2012 policy that allows certain immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

Senior political science and Spanish major Valeria Rodriguez helped lead the creation of the scholarship. Rodriguez realized there was a problem when her fellow classmates weren’t able to have the same access to scholarships as students from other universities did.

When Rodriguez was 5 years old, she and her family emigrated from Mexico to the United States and began the naturalization process. She became a U.S. citizen in 2013. Through the process, Rodriguez was exposed to the immigration system constantly. Rodriguez felt it was ridiculous that simple documentation can prevent you from reaching your career goals.

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Juan Franco helped guide Rodriguez as well as other students through the bureaucracy of creating the scholarship.

During the fundraising process, the committee has been advertising donations as well as the banquet they were hosting on April 13. All the proceeds from the banquet and private donations will go directly to the scholarship fund, Rodriguez said. With this scholarship, the money will be more secure for DACA and undocumented students.

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