“It made me sad. It made it so hard to come to work and put on a happy face as though everything is okay,” says the Mexican-American artist.
Stanley immediately started brainstorming how he could use his talents to support those affected and take some action.
The illustrator decided to create portraits of DACA recipients, so they could share their stories in their own words. And that’s how Dreamer Stories was born.
“In just reading their stories and giving them a platform to tell their stories you realize that their experiences and everything that’s going on is so heavy,” says Stanley. “I feel honored to be a bit of a vehicle for sharing these stories with the world.”
While many DACA recipients are feeling fear, anxiety, and sadness, Stanley made sure to also share their joys and smiling faces. It’s his hope to create a portrait of their dreams and show them as the regular people they are, living their lives and not succumbing to the narrative the media tends to paint of them.
“They’re people who are alive and want to do more than cry on a corner,” says Stanley. “Many of them are activists themselves. The situation they’re in has given them this super power of empathy. When I asked them what their dream is many said to help other people that are in my situation.”
Estefanía works as a paralegal community advocate at the Equal Justice Center in Dallas.
“Despite struggles, limitations, and uncertainty a big achievement for me is that I am the first generation college student in my family. My family always told me that I couldn’t go to college because of my legal status. It took a huge toll on me but thanks to a 2001 state law in Texas, it would allow me, an undocumented student to pay in-state tuition as long as I proved I had lived in Texas for more than three years. I also graduated from my university debt-free through private scholarships and my parent’s sacrifices! Today, thanks to DACA I have a full-time job, I bought my first car, I got my driver’s license, and I was able to travel to Italy through advanced parole for educational purposes during my undergrad year. And now, I plan on continuing my education by going to law school and becoming an immigration lawyer.”
Read her full story here.
Gibrán works full-time in retail while also going to school.
As far as his dream:
“I think learning English has been the primary challenge for me, my friends say it’s great but I feel I can still improve.”
Read more here.
Alonso was born in Peru and emigrated to the U.S. when he was 11.
“Growing up undocumented in Utah truly shaped me into the person I am today. My experiences growing up in the margins of society inform the work I do, and the work I seek to continue doing in this life. I am passionate about working with undocumented students and families and strive to share all my knowledge and experiences with the undocumented community as well as the community as a whole.”
Read the rest of his story here.
Nayeli came to the U.S. when she was six and will graduate in December from college with a B.S. in web application development and a minor in marketing.
“My first dream is to create or take part in a business that provides change and opportunities for other cultural groups. My second dream is to contribute to the breaking down of the digital divide by teaching minority groups how to use technology to help improve their business or everyday lives.
My final and maybe my greatest dream is to be able to support my parents financially so that they can finally retire. They have sacrificed their lives and time so that I could have a better future, and I only wish to be able to repay that back.”
Here is the rest of Nayeli’s story.
To read more, go to DreamerStories.com.
Recommend this story to a friend by clicking on the share button below.