After years of serving the undocumented student population, Southwestern College officially cut the ribbon and celebrated the opening of the brand new Dreamer Center on the Chula Vista campus.
The center, located in room 426, was made possible through a $125,000 grant from The California Campus Catalyst Fund awarded to Southwestern College last year. The grant enabled Southwestern College to bring more resources to undocumented students. The grant will also help fund a project specialist who will work directly with undocumented students and develop workshops, outreach material and scholarship opportunities. Additional support was provided with a donation from the Southwestern College Foundation.
“We will give these students the support and resources they need to help them come out of their cocoon and continue their pursuit of an education,” said Dr. Guadalupe Corona, director of Office of Student Equity Programs and Services, which oversees the center. “Their dreams are our dreams, and we are here to help dreamers.”
The Dreamer Center will bring together and create resources for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), AB540 and undocumented students and their families including outreach programs, education and advocacy. Programs will include workshops on DACA news and updates, applications and renewals plus information on free legal services available in the community.
Norma Vizcaino, an Immigrants’ Rising Student Fellow, a DACA recipient and a computer science major, said immigrant students can often feel alone and isolated because it’s difficult to ask for help without feeling like a target.
“The Dreamer Center on campus is so important because students like me have somewhere visible to go to and ask for help and meet people you can trust,” said Vizcaino, a first-generation college student. “I’m hoping that this center will give others the help they need and help them reach their goals.”
The Dreamer Center was a collaborative accomplishment that brought in many departments at Southwestern College, including the Financial Aid Department, Adelante Estudiante Program, IDEAS Student Organization and the Southwestern College Foundation.
For more information, visit the Dreamer Center’s website or walk into room 426, behind the Academic Success Center, on the Chula Vista campus.