We Did It!!

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!!

CNN Covers the Story

CNN covered my story and aired it yesterday on their Spanish show Mirador Mundial, which is seen not only nation-wide, but also internationally!!

The report is titled “El querer es poder” equivalent to the saying where there’s a will there’s a way!

Thank you CNN!!

http://www.cnn.com/video/standard.html#/video/spanish/2011/08/13/usa.indocumentado.desafios.cnn

Univision

Click on the link below to see the interview with Univision, in which they talk about my situation, which is similar to many DREAM Act students here in AZ. They also highlight the last major donation given by Jack Harris and Gaby Pacheco!

http://univisionarizona.univision.com/mes-de-la-hispanidad/mes-de-la-hispanidad-videos/video/2011-08-09/joven-indocumentado-lucha-para-obtener

DREAM Dinner, You’re Invited!

Dear friends, let’s get together and celebrate the dream of an education. The Isac Amaya Foundation is having their annual scholarship fundraiser this Saturday August 20th at 6pm at St. Vincent De Paul 420 W. Watkins Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85003. 

This event is organized by the group of young activists who put together the golf tournament where I shared my story over a month ago. They host a yearly scholarship fundraising effort to honor the memory of their friend, Isac Amaya, a DREAMer who was chasing his education and was taken away too soon. His dream of an education lives on his friends, who raise money to fund students who are as dedicated as Isac. The proceeds from the golf tournament and this dinner will go to a couple of scholarships for deserving students. A past recipient of  the Isac Amaaya Memorial Scholarship is the “Harvard, Si Se Puede,” Silivia Rodriguez, who was able to raise enough money to go to harvard as a DREAMer. Last year, the group was able to raise around $15,000 for scholarships and this year they want to break that record.

Tickets for the dinner are $15 and they can be bought at the door. A silent auction will be held and there will also be room for additional donations to be made by all of those attending. I will also be sharing my story. I hope you can join us on the 20th to have dinner and celebrate DREAMs.

To RSVP Click Here

For more information please free to reach me at germancadenas@gmail.com or contact Nuvia at  isacamayafoundation@gmail.com (602)384-5535.

Speeding Up for the Last 20

Only 20 more days until the start of the doctoral program. There is still much ground to walk and little time is left. This moment feels like the last few laps of a demanding yet invigorating race, the race to raise the funds I need to start the doc program this fall. What do you do when the finish line is just around the corner? If you don’t think the race is worth it than you slow down and give up. But when the  race signifies nothing less than a brighter future and the realization of the dream to help others, then you speed up. This moment, last few laps, is the point in the race when you give your all.

What am I doing? I’m looking into every possibility that could help me pick up the pace. I am applying to a couple of scholarships that are due at the end of the month, the problem is that most scholarships are given to undergrads as the assumption is that doctoral students have funding. I would receive funding from my program or apply to a fellowship, grant, or loan, but my immigration status gets in the way. So, I’m reaching out to as many people as I can. I have to speed up because I have been given the opportunity to run in this race, and if I don’t finish, there might not be another chance.

 I am sincerely thankful to have the chance to study in one of the best programs in psychology in the country I love and call home. I can become a psychologist that will eventually help many others, but I need the funds to start the program on August 18. The truth is, I’m not fast enough to get there by August 18th, not without your strength. Can you help me pick up the pace by making a donation to my education fund today?

Please share widely with all your Facebook, Twitter, and Email contacts.

Thank you!

30 Days Left

So, here I am, 30 days and $9,000 away. It is baffling to know that I would receive full funding if it wasn’t for my immigration status, but I am proud to have made it this far as a DREAMer. I have received the formidable support of friends and allies that have helped me raise $3,528. I’m very grateful for what we’ve been able to raise so far but we still need a little push to reach our goal of $12,500, the amount needed to pay for tuition during my first semester.

I have fought very hard to get to this point. I’ve worked full time at odd jobs to fund my education up to this point, putting up with late night shifts and low pay jobs. I’ve volunteered time for research and community service because I recognize the value of giving. I’ve given my best academically because I know that education is the vehicle to help and empower others to live a better life. I’ve given my best, my sweat, tears, late nights, weekends, summers, blood, energy, all.

Only 30 days and $9,000 separate me from starting the doctoral program in counseling psychology at Arizona State University. I can’t wait for my first day of class and to start studying hard to become a psychologist. I have a couple of research projects in  mind. They involve minorities, youth, and multicultural issues. More specifically, they involve DREAMers like myself, and the skills to attain an education. I have submitted proposals to present at national conferences next year and I plan to present at a local one this year. It is exciting to look ahead to that great day, my first day in the doctoral program, the start of a new journey to discover new things that can improve the lives of others. I am willing to give my all to my studies.

We can do this together, we can beat the system and raise $9000 in 30 days. I am positive that in 30 days I will be representing not only Latinos, but also DREAMers and minority students in one of the best programs in psychology in the U.S.  Can you help me make this happen by making a donation?

TO DONATE: http://www.gofundme.com/germansdream

Thank you for your support!

German

Please share this with your Facebook, Twitter, and Email contacts.

One Big Step at a Time

Switching Focus to Immediate Goal of $12,500 to start the doctoral program in the fall. Overall goal still $25,000 for both semester during first year. 

$25,000 is no small number, perhaps too large of a number to work toward is such a short amount of time. The fundraiser webpage and blog have been up for a little over a month. With the help of great friends and supporters the fundraiser had a great start and has been running very well. Now, it is important to acknowledge that goals have to be realistic and coherent in terms of the time window. To fund-raise $25k by August, which is when I start the doctoral program, might be too idealistic a goal, unless a miracle happens.

For this reason, I am splitting my fundraising goal. Let’s focus on the immediate goal of $12,50o which is the amount needed for school in the fall. Then we can focus on fundraising the other $12.5k before the start of the spring semester.

This new focus puts us at 28% from our new goal. We get closer everyday.

What do you think about this? Can you help me get to $12,500 by the start of the fall semester in mid August? 

Every donation counts, whether it is $10 or $1000. Let’s keep walking together!!

TO DONATE: http://www.gofundme.com/germansdream

Spread the word: Share this blog and http://www.gofundme.com/germansdream with your Facebook, twitter, and email contacts.