#T4DWest Day 2: Dreamers Can Reach Their Dream
The topic of dreamers is very personal because my brother is experiencing this tough harsh reality. Like many of you, he is determined to acquire a career in the health professions, but has experienced many drawbacks because of his status. At Albuquerque a young man shared his passion of wishing to serve his community through medicine, but being unable to because of his current legal status.
In a conversation with an admission’s officer he stated that many medical schools are limited in the information they can disclose when it comes to evaluating Dreamers. With regards to medical school two institutions, Loyola and TCOM, have considered and accepted students regardless of immigration status. Aside from completing your application, obtaining letters of recommendation, and having a competitive MCAT score, the following are additional details Dreamers should pay attention when applying:
- Financing a medical education is expensive, and obtained through methods (student loans, military/service scholarships) that Dreamers cannot access. Unless you are independently wealthy, the admission’s officer stated, it is hard for Dreamers to finance a medical school education because of limited funding sources. Loyola has been able to subsidize medical education through local state funds. Those who access these funds must commit to be a practice in the state for a certain number of years upon finishing their medical school residency. Texas Dreamers can access loans for state residents. These funds are limited and change yearly depending on state revenue. I encourage you to find out if your state has local funds that will allow you to fund your secondary education.
- Most professional schools will require a background check, and for this one needs a driver’s license. A source shared that an accepted dreamer was unable to enroll because he lacked this piece of information. Many states now provide Dreamers with a time limited license due to executive order, so make sure you get this vital piece of information.
- Every professional student must take a certifying exam, and licensing agencies can also pose a barrier. A dreamer candidate can sit down for medical licensing exams (STEP or COMLEX) if granted admission’s to medical school. Other professional programs will allow you to sit down for the certifying exams, if you have a valid social security number, which Dreamers can now obtain through executive order. Call the licensing agency that you will eventually be certified under, and let them know your situation.
As a former public education teacher, I feel a need to apologize to Dreamers, because our system promises that it is possible to obtain a secondary education as long as one hungers it. It broke my heart that during senior year, many hardworking Dreamers were left hopeless and with an unbroken promise. My advice to current Dreamers that hunger a professional education is not give up and be proactive. My brother and I had to call licensing agencies and other professional organizations to ensure that he could sit down for licensure. Once we found out he could, the program was able to consider him for admissions. Finally, I encourage you to be politically active within your community. Encourage those that can vote to support those political candidates that have supported and been in favor of immigration reform. Write a letter to your local congressman/congresswoman, state senators, and the president detailing your situation. Keep in mind that these letters are READ, so WRITE and SHARE YOUR STORY!