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Out Of 882 Applicants, The Son Of Mexican Immigrants Is One Of 32 Getting This Prestigious Scholarship

Óscar De Los Santos is one of the newest members of the Rhodes Scholar program, one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world. But what makes De Los Santos story different than the 882 other Rhodes Scholar applicants is the fact that he is the son of formerly-undocumented Mexican immigrants and has used the experience to pursue education in politics.

Óscar De Los Santos is one of 32 men and women representing the U.S. in the 2017 class of Rhodes Scholars.

Óscar De Los Santos / Facebook

According to the website, the Rhodes Scholarship is “the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world.” Students and graduates who receive the Rhodes Scholarship are chosen from a pool of applicants that both apply and are endorsed by their respective universities. This year, 882 students from 311 American universities applied for the 32 available spots to study for post-graduate degrees at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

The child of formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants told the Associated Press that he is excited for the opportunity but saddened by the lack of diversity in the class.

Óscar De Los Santos / Facebook

“I would like to express my disappointment that I was the only Latino Rhodes Scholar selected this year,” De Los Santos told the Associated Press, according to Fox New Latino. “I personally know hundreds of talented, deserving young Latinos around the country who would contribute to and benefit tremendously from the Rhodes. I’m disappointed that powerful institutions continue to underestimate and marginalize the talents of people of color.”

His alma mater, the University of Southern California, praised his work with President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Óscar De Los Santos / Facebook

“As a sophomore, he was highly involved with the Obama 2012 reelection campaign, and the impact of his work was so significant that he was one of only six volunteers invited to dine with President Obama in Washington D.C.,” the USC press release states. De Los Santos was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in a suburb of Phoenix, Ariz. He was the youngest field organizer in Florida for Obama’s campaign.

The political science graduate plans on taking on two one-year post-graduate degrees: a Master in Public Policy and a Master of Studies in Theology with a focus on Christianity.

Óscar De Los Santos / Facebook

“I’m the child of Mexican immigrants, an anti-hunger advocate and a former teacher and political organizer,” De Los Santos told AP, according to ABC15 Arizona. “My degree choices are a way for me to respond from a sense of moral urgency to help marginalized people.”

The mayor of Phoenix, Ariz., where De Los Santos currently lives, tweeted his support and praise of the student.


And it isn’t just his city’s mayor that is congratulating him.


Way to go, Óscar!

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy / DreamWorks / fernygifs / Tumblr

Now, go make everyone (more) proud and get that post-graduate degree from Oxford University. We’re rooting for you! ??


READ: NASA Just Can’t Get Enough Of This Mexican Scientist

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Indigenous Purépecha Woman Gets Full Ride Scholarship To Attend Harvard

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Indigenous Purépecha Woman Gets Full Ride Scholarship To Attend Harvard

In just a few months, college freshmen will be descending on their campuses across the country. One of these students is Elizabeth Esteban who is the first person from her indigenous tribe in Mexico to be accepted to an Ivy League school.

Elizabeth Esteban is going to Harvard and it is a major deal.

Esteban is a member of the Purépecha tribe, an indigenous community from Michoacán, Mexico. Esteban is the first member of her tribe to be accepted into an Ivy League university, where indigenous representation remains small. Esteban’s parents work as farm laborers in the eastern Coachella Valley in California.

“Well I felt proud and excited, every sort of emotion because I never would have believed that a person like me, would be accepted to a prestigious university,” Esteban told NBC News.

Not only was Esteban accepted into Harvard, a prestigious university, she also received a full-ride scholarship. Esteban’s family is part of a community of hundreds of Purépecha people who relocated to the easter Coachella Valley in search of work and a better life.

Esteban plans to study political science.

Dr. Ruiz Speaks with State of the Union Guest, Elizabeth from Desert Mirage High School.

Join me for a live conversation with my guest for tonight's State of the Union, Elizabeth from Desert Mirage High School!

Posted by Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Esteban wants to make a difference in her community. As an indigenous woman, Esteban wants to break barriers that are set on women in her community. She told NBC News that her community expects for women to stay home and be stay-at-home mothers.

The incoming Harvard freshmen was discouraged from applying to Harvard at one point because of her community’s unreliable internet connection. Esteban lives in a mobile home with her family in Mecca and struggled to complete course work. The internet went down in the middle of her Harvard interview and it almost prevented her from applying to the university.

“Well, I felt proud and excited, every sort of emotion because I never would have believed that a person like me, would be accepted to a prestigious university,” Esteban told NBC News about being accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship.

READ: California, Harvard, MIT File Lawsuits To Challenge Government’s International Student Visa Announcement

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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