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

Advertisements

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.

 

High School Students Supporting Tuition Equity in Florida

As our volunteers continue their visits to high schools in Collier County, they continue to find that support for tuition equity for all students in Florida is overwhelming. Earlier this week, our state House of Representatives passed HB 851, (In-State Tuition for All Florida graduates, regardless of immigration status)  out of its last committee unanimously. While we still have to wait until it reaches the house floor, the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project and several other organizations in the state have been mobilizing and collecting signatures for the state-wide petition that was created in favor of tuition equity for undocumented students.

We need your help! Please, consider adding your name to the already hundreds of names supporting these measures. You can submit your signature electronically HERE and forward it to friends and family. Let’s show our legislators that this is something that we not only want, but also need! Once you’ve done that, show your support visually by submitting an image of yourself holding a sign similar to our high school students below! Email your image to rommy@collierstoriesmatter.org  and we will make sure to showcase you on our Facebook and blog!

Lely High School Students Showing Support

Lely High School Students Showing Support

Gulf Coast High School Students Showing Support

Gulf Coast High School Students Showing Support

Educators and Volunteers Showing Support

Educators and Volunteers Showing Support

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.

FREE DACA Clinic in Naples: March 11 from 10-4 PM-Clinica de Acción Diferida Gratis

The Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project is hosting its first ever DACA Clinic on March 11th from 10-4 PM in Naples.

We are bringing, for the first time ever, 4 different law schools to work together on applications for DACA applicants. They include the University of Miami, Florida international University, St. Thomas and Ave Maria law schools.

articles for outreach, Naples Daily News

Want to know what documents you need to bring with you? Quiere saber cuales documentos tiene que traer con ud?

Click here for English checklist

Click here for Spanish checklist (español)

You can read more about DACA here

Download the flyer in ENGLISH SPANISH

FLDream-DACA-Clinic-Mar11-2013