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  • Writer's pictureLa Voz Latina

Missed Opportunity For UMD DACA Student: Grassroot Effort

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

By: Jenson Castillo

Entrance of UMD in College Park on Dec.2, 2022. (Diana Rivera)

Over the summer I saw a showdown between Bad Bunny and a student involved in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. There was no slandering or punches thrown, the battle was for funds.

A DACA student on the University of Maryland campus was brave enough to start a GoFundMe asking for $1,600 for graduation and graduate school application fees on a school chat. She introduced herself, provided her background information and aspirations, then posted the link to the GoFundMe account.

Considering that there were over 600 students in the chat, I thought she would quickly get funded. I was wrong.

Very few donations came in, and by the end of summer, the fund goal was not met. Meanwhile, in the chat, Bad Bunny tickets were hot. I wondered how people could spend $300-$400 on a ticket, but could not spare $1 to help a student attain her master's or doctorate, which ultimately benefits all of us.

How does it benefit all of us? The reality is, minorities are overrepresented in the lower class portion of society and underrepresented in the upper class, especially in terms of higher education.

In 2019, less than 15% of all doctorate, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees were conferred to Hispanic and Black students compared to over 60% for Whites, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The Census shows that there is a strong correlation between lower educational attainment and poverty, where brown and black minority groups are disproportionately represented.

We also have the lowest household net worth and income by race and ethnicity. Should we have supported the DACA student? Statistics say YES!

There are numerous institutional factors contributing to our social, political, and economic status. One major contributing factor is being unsupportive to each other, as we clearly were with the DACA student.

Students gathered around a whiteboard and drawing at Leonardtown apartments on Dec.4,2022. (Diana Rivera)

Bad Bunny may be very entertaining, but he has already found a way to make millions by selling music to students who could barely afford second-hand ticket prices.

The DACA student, along with the rest of us, still must find a way to lift ourselves and our families out of the political, social, and economic conditions that a lot of us will live and die in. These conditions stem from the unequal structure of our society, and a piece of the blame will fall directly on our shoulders for not doing enough to support each other unless we change.

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