Here we are on August 26th and I have already completed my first week of school in the doctoral program in counseling psychology at Arizona State University. In only 3 months we’ve been able to fund-raise enough to start making the first installments and I have almost all the funds I need for my first semester.
A couple of months ago, when I was told that I could not get any type of funding due to my immigration status and the laws in AZ, I found it hard to believe that I was going to be here today making this statement. But it’s true, we did it, we’ve started the journey!! I could not have gotten to this very place if it hadn’t been for your help. Whether you donated $10 or $1000, whether you have followed my every update or just checked in every once in a while, whether you posted it on Facebook and Twitter or shared it with your contacts through word of mouth, you have been part of it!!! and that’s why WE DID IT!!!
(This is what I saw when I came out of my first class last Tuesday)
I want to take this moment of victory to thank every single person who donated, shared the story, prayed, sent me emails, called, etc. It has been very exciting to work toward this enormous challenge of raising the funds, and I feel very well supported by a community of friends and allies. I want to give special thanks to the Cesar Chavez Foundation for believing in me and awarding me a $10,000 scholarship for the academic year. This scholarship energized the fundraiser and started to give shape to what we were all making together. Thank you also to Gaby Pacheco and Mr. Jack Harris for their Humanitarian donations of $1000; it’s a great feeling when the help comes from people who are free from fear! Much respect and admiration to you both!! Thank you to the Catholic Community Foundation for awarding me a $1000 scholarship which was the first major contribution to the fund. Thank you to Alfonso Ibanez and Liz Cantu who donated between $150 and $300, and receive the title of The Dreamer.
Thank you to The Doctors who donated $100 to help me fix this situation: Allan Cameron, Rhian Stotts, Tyler Barratt, Barbara Bronstein, Jamie Clemons, Laura Petrolle, Ana Belen Mayorga, Elizabeth Salvino, Michael Trejo, William Perez, Kelly P. Steel, Michele Rudy, Betty Teeson, and Araceli Mejia. Thank you to The Fighter Silvia Rodriguez who donated $75 and reminded me that Si Se Puede! thank you to all The Believers who donated over $50: G. Miguel Arciniega, Raquel Teran, Rita Butterfeild, Juanita Olguin, Ali Askari, Tamara McIrvin, Liz Berry, Thomas Kirsch, Diana Milner, Liang, and Armando Pina. I am also very thankful for all other donations, every grain of sand has amounted to a solid fund. Special thanks to Luis Avila who has supported me and guided me from the start and to Los Breakers for putting together a golf tournament and dinner in memory of Isac Amaya to raise funds for scholarships. Their foundation is awarding me a $3,000 scholarship and has pledged to match the next $2,000 I raise. Lastly I want to thank my close friends, girlfriend and family for providing me their daily support and encouragement.
Now I must continue to work to raise the funds needed for the rest of the year. You can still donate to my education a http://funds.gofundme.com/germansdream. I will of course make the bigger challenge my main focus, to successfully advance through such a demanding doc program. I’m ready for it, and so far I love all 5 classes I’m enrolled in. It’s not an easy load, but I’m making sure that every penny that was raised for my education gets the value it deserves. I’m studying in an environment of compassion and empathy, of friendliness and acceptance, of outstanding knowledge but also deep sensitivity. I’m thankful to find such a unique learning environment in this state of AZ, and to learn from respectable professors and amiable classmates. The fight is not anywhere near over, this is only the start of a long journey and I’m eager to continue. I am confident that I will soon reach my yearly goal and for now we can enjoy this moment because we, my friends, we did it!!