SWFL Scholarship Opportunity Now Open for Undocumented Students

March 2nd, 2015 

launchpad teaser-2

The Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project is releasing the first ever scholarship fund for undocumented students in Southwest Florida (Collier and Lee Counties). We are excited to offer one qualifying community member a $500 scholarship to go toward their future or current educational prospects. This opportunity was made possible by the generous donation by the Luque Law Firm, P.A. For more information on this firm, please scroll below.

You can download the application here 

OVERVIEW

The Launchpad Fund knows that financial assistance for undocumented community members seeking educational opportunities is extremely limited. Because of this, we believe that by helping our community with financial support, dreams that were once unattainable become possible. We believe in our namesake: providing a Launchpad for individuals to reach their dreams. 

REQUIREMENTS

One $500 scholarship is available for a community member who meets all of the following requirements:

  1. Reside in Collier or Lee counties
  2. Do not have legal status in the country (i.e. Permanent residency or U.S. citizenship) or have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protective Status (TPS); ***
  3. Demonstrate financial need*
  4. Are currently a high school senior, obtained a high school diploma or GED equivalent;
  5. Are attending or seeking to attend:**
  • a community college;
  • a four-year university; or
  • a trade/vocational/technical school
  1. Have obtained a 2.5 GPA
  2. Have one letter of recommendation*
  3. Commit to working with the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project*
  4. Submit a personal statement/submission*

Applications should be sent to:

Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project

P.O. Box 62071

Fort Myers, FL 33906

postmarked by May 22nd, 2015. We are NOT accepting electronic applications. Semi-finalists will be contacted for a final interview and the finalist will be notified by late June 2015. Questions regarding the application can be emailed to launchpad@collierstoriesmatter.org

*These topics are discussed in detail in the next page **If in high school, send us a copy of an unofficial transcript. If you have graduated, send us a copy of your high school diploma or your GED certificate. Please do not send us originals. Only copies. ***Send us a copy (not an original) of your DACA/TPS approval notice.


OUR CONTRIBUTOR 

Luque law firm logoThe Luque Law Firm, P.A.

Immigration Attorney

Erica Luque, Esq. – Managing Partner

5037 Tamiami Trail East

Naples, Florida 34113

(239) 986-1196

www.luquelawfirm.com

In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students Passes in Florida!

May 2014

It is very exciting to share that the in-state tuition bill, HB851, passed the FL House of Representatives with overwhelming support on May 2nd! It now moves to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. In the past two months, the in-state tuition bill has moved from the Senate to the House of Representatives because of continued pressure by undocumented students who mobilized to Tallahassee to see their dreams become reality!

10314739_679759255418566_1273993441900720666_n

Below you will find press coverage as well as pictures of CCNSP’s involvement in this victory!

In the coming months, we hope to move forward with an education initiative to make sure in-state tuition as well as other resources for undocumented students make their way to those that need them.

If you have questions or want to get involved, please contact us at info@collierstoriesmatter.org

 

PRESS COVERAGE

Wink News

Wink News May 3

FOX News

NBC-2 

WGCU

Naples Daily News

Vista Semanal 

D’Latinos 

Accion Hispana

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Y Volver

62468_4548416756365_1751348120_nMy name is Rommy Torrico and I am the proud undocumented daughter of two amazing immigrants.

We came to this country on July 16, 1994 with dreams; with a vision of what we would do and what our lives could be like. I remember the first time I ever stepped foot here was at the Miami International Airport. A surge or excitement pulsed through me but mostly I was sleepy because we arrived late at night. However, that didn’t take away from the fact that this was the land of dreams. I remember sitting on my father’s lap, my head cradled in the nook of his neck as we waited for someone to come pick us up. At some point before nodding off, I looked down to see two huge suitcases. They were green, looked brand new and carried a treasure inside. Everything from our past life was in there. As far as I knew at my ripe 5 years, my whole world was in there. What I didn’t know was that my world was about to get bigger.

We’ve carried on these past 19 years still in search of the dreams we came to find. We realized that things here were very different than we had expected. Being undocumented created a world full of limitations and uncertainty that we hadn’t prepared for. Yet, we’ve made it through. Struggle after struggle, we’ve had the privilege and good fortune to stay afloat. And here we are, 19 years later… my father is now a legal permanent resident, my mother is in the process of adjusting her status, my sister is a naturalized citizen and I have temporary relief through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

It’s been quite a journey that life has taken us on. My parents have been put to the test time after time and have had to make immense sacrifices along the way. One of the hardest sacrifices and one of things I believe my father most regrets most was not being able to see his mother before she passed because his status wouldn’t allow him to leave and return. After that, he promised himself that he would visit as soon as he got the chance.

And that opportunity came on September 12, 2013. My father took his first trip back to Chile to visit a family that hadn’t seen him in almost 20 years and to visit his mother’s resting place.

8310_10151650065408341_129053921_n

When my mother, my sister and I went to drop him off at the airport, the same airport we had arrived at almost 20 years ago, all the memories of our arrival came flooding back. Things at the airport looked different, smelled different but it all felt the same. That same rush of excitement rushed through us and most importantly, we were all there together as we had been back in 1994. As my dad went through his last checkpoint, I noticed for the first time the suitcases he was pulling along were the same ones I remembered during my first time in that same airport. They were green as ever, looking brand new but this time they were holding a new treasure inside; a testament to our strength as a family. Our life was changing once again and now we’re ready for anything. We’ve come full circle.

In an attempt to honor my father’s sacrifice and those fathers like mine, whose only desires are to protect and support their families, I have created a short film of the 24 hours leading up to his big trip to Chile.

I humbly submit this request to you to please watch this video, which demonstrates a small vignette of our lives and that of my parents. We acknowledge our privilege in this new world of mixed statuses and “documentation”; and this is why I want to continue fighting: because our reality shouldn’t revolve around pieces of paper.

We are human. 

The competition will allow our local work to continue as I will donate part of the proceeds to CCNSP and the rest to my parents.

Please share our video and share the stories-the real stories-of what it means to be human without papers.

Got DACA in Florida? Here are the DL Requirements

TAKEN FROM DMV wEBSITE

Non Immigrants

Non Immigrants that apply for a Florida drivers license or ID card must provide the Proof of Social Security Number and 2 Proofs of Residential address described above.

As a Non Immigrant you must provide one original or certified copy of the following Identification documents:

  • Employment authorization card issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (Form I688B or I-766); or
  • Proof of nonimmigrant classification provided by United States Department of Homeland Security (Form I-94, not expired, with required supporting attachment(s).

If in doubt regarding required documents, please bring all of your US BCIS documentation with you.). I-94s must be accompanied by a Passport. Certain classifications require additional documentation. Some examples are:
F-1 and M-1 classification must also be accompanied by an I-20.
I J-1 or J-2 designation must be accompanied by an DS2019.
Refugee, asylee and parolee classifications must be accompanied by additional documentation.

  • I-571 Travel Document/Refugee Travel Permit**
  • I-512 Parole Letter Accepted**
  • IJO- Asylum or Cancellation of Removal – Immigration Judges Order granting Asylum or Cancellation of Removal.**

** These documents will only be accepted with a supporting document, including but not limited to a Passport, Florida Driver License or Identification Card, Driver License from any other state, Employment Authorization Card, Employer Identification, Identification from home country, Identification from school or college, Social Security Card (Chapter 322, Florida Statutes, requires the Department to see proof of social security number for the issuance of driver license and identification cards) or other US BCIS document.

Notes:
All required and supporting documents MUST be original or certified.
Documents must be valid for more than 30 days from the date of issuance.
Non-U.S. citizens applying for an original driver license will be issued a 30-day, no photo, paper temporary permit and a receipt. Non-U.S. citizens applying for an identification card will be issued a receipt.
All records are transmitted to our database in Tallahassee, where the information will be examined and run against FDLE, FBI and US BCIS databases.
Upon identity and legal status verification, a driver license or identification card will be issued within 30 days from Tallahassee, mailed to the address on the driver record. The license or identification card will be issued for the period of time specified on the US BCIS document, up to a maximum of one year.
If a problem is detected, a denial of issuance letter will be mailed to the customer.

2 Proofs of Residential Address

Gather TWO of the following documents showing your residential address: (internet printouts or faxes of these documents are acceptable)

  • Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental/lease agreement
  • Florida Voter Registration Card
  • Florida Vehicle Registration or Title
  • Florida Boat Registration or Title (if living on a boat/houseboat)
  • A statement from a parent, step-parent or legal guardian of an applicant. The parent or guardian must reside at the same residence address, accompany the applicant and present “Proof of Residence Address”
  • A utility hook up or work order dated within 60 days of the application
  • Automobile Payment Booklet
  • Selective Service Card
  • Medical or health card with address listed
  • Current homeowners insurance policy or bill
  • Current automobile insurance policy or bill
  • Educational institution transcript forms for the current school year
  • Unexpired professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.
  • W-2 form or 1099 form
  • Form DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
  • A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider, or a half-way house verifying that the customer resides at the shelter address
  • Utility bills, not more than two months old
  • Mail from financial institutions; including checking, savings, or investment account statements, not more than two months old
  • Mail from Federal, State, County or City government agencies (including city and county agencies)
  • Transients Sexual Offender/Predator/Career Offender: – FDLE Registration form completed by local sheriffs department

Proof of Social Security Number

  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 form
  • Pay check
  • SSA-1099
  • Any 1099

If you Do NOT have a Social Security Number:

If you do not have a social security number, you must bring a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that you were never issued one. In addition, you will need to present at least one proof of ID from the following list:

  • A driver license from the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, or one of our 50 states.
  • School record stating date of birth, which must contain the registrars signature.
  • Transcript of the birth record filed with a public officer charged with the duty of recording certificates.
  • Baptism certificate, which shows date of birth and the place of baptism.
  • Family Bible record or birth announcement in a baby book
  • An insurance policy on the customers life which has been in force for at least two years and has the month, day and year of birth.
  • United States military or military dependent identification card.
  • An identification card from the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, or one of our 50 states.
  • Florida license record or identification card record.
  • Selective Service Registration (Draft Card).
  • Florida Vehicle Registration certificate (HSMV 83399, owners copy) obtained from the tax collectors office where the customers vehicle was registered, Florida, or out-of-state registration certificate, if name and date of birth are shown.
  • Receipt copy of your last Florida driver license issuance.
  • Immigration form I-571.
  • Federal form DD-214 (military record).
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Court order, which includes legal name.
  • A Florida voter registration card, which was issued at least 3 months previously.
  • Parent consent form of minor, signed by the parent or legal guardian
  • Government issued out-of-country passport, driver license, or identification card
  • Concealed Weapons Permit

Nestor, one of our members and DACA eligible student, gets his Driver’s License!

photo-31

Nestor just got his license after qualifying for Deferred Action this past year! Help us in congratulating him!

Note: Please note that if you are a DACA eligible young individual, you can still obtain your driver’s license even with Governor Scott’s veto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have questions about this, please let us know at info@collierstoriesmatter.org. You can also find more information about obtaining a driver’s licenses in Florida as a deferred action recipient here

Read more about his story in today’s Naples Daily News article: Edison State_6_23_13

Reunión Comunitaria en Naples 1/31/13: Entérate del tema de inmigración a nivel local y nacional!

para todos aquellos que quieran saber más sobre la reforma migratoria y la colaboración de la policia con la migra, por favor asistan a esta reunión el jueves, 31 de enero a las 4: 30 PM en en Golden Gate Community Center. hablarémos de cuales maneras se pueden involucrar.

CCNSP 1_31_13 community mtg flyer SP

CCNSP 1_31_13 community mtg flyer SP