Inaugural Soñadores Summit for All High School DREAMERs
ALDINE – Aldine ISD will host its Inaugural Soñadores Summit for All High School DREAMERs this Saturday, April 15 at the Aldine High School.
The event targets ninth- 10th-, 11th- and 12th grade students seeking answers to college dreams.
The school district will host its inaugural Soñadores Summit, themed “Daring to DREAM,” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 – to assist undocumented students in pursuing their dreams. The Spanish word ‘soñadores’ translates to dreamers.
“Aldine ISD is committed to ensuring all our students have the opportunity to pursue their educational goals, regardless of residency status,” Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney said. “The Soñadores Summit is part of our commitment to providing students with the resources and support they need to achieve those goals.”
Soñadores Summit Event Details
Saturday, April 15
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Aldine High School
11101 Airline Dr, Houston, TX 77037
No registration is required to attend.
Interpretation will be available as needed.
Note: Students should contact their school counselor if they have questions about school transportation to the event.
The target group for the summit will be students in Grades 9-12, and their families, that fall into one of the following categories:
–DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients
However, the summit is open to all Aldine ISD high school dreamers born in and outside the U.S. who support equity, their undocumented classmates, and the community.
It will feature keynote speaker Katherine Balderrama Najera. Katherine, a DACA recipient, is an Aldine grad and active with DACA events at the University of Houston, where she attended as a Dream U.S. Scholar. She is currently an account manager and plans to attend law school. The event will also have a resource and college fair, college and financial aid application labs for 12th graders, and financial aid and college information sessions for parents and students. Sessions will be spread throughout Aldine High School (LMC/library, auditorium, and classrooms).
Susana Velis, with the district’s Scholarship Office, is one of the event’s coordinators. Velis stated that the summit is another way the district addresses this population’s unique needs as they select their postsecondary pathway and identify and seek financing for higher education.
The resource fair will include representatives from Houston Community College, Texas State University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University-Texarkana, Bethel University, and Lone Star College-North Harris. Also present will be a meningitis vaccination bus and the Hope Clinic.
“This inaugural Soñadores Summit does more than re-affirm Aldine’s commitment to serving all of our diverse student population,” Goffney said. “It shows our commitment is an ongoing, everyday promise we will deliver to all our students.”
1,500 Aldine ISD Students Fall Under the DREAMERs Category
Currently, the district has 1,500 students that fall into the DREAMERs category. Most DREAMERs in Aldine ISD are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. But Aldine is a diverse school district where more than 46 different languages are spoken, including some indigenous languages.
Across the country, of the nearly 2.3 million DREAMERs living in the U.S., most are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Brazil, South Korea, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Philippines, Jamaica, India, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Ukraine, to name a few.
Who are the DREAMERs, and Why are They Called DREAMERS?
Those protected under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and undocumented students not covered refer to themselves as “Dreamers.”
DACA was a compromise devised by the Obama administration after Congress failed to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would have offered the chance of permanent legal residency. The bipartisan legislation was introduced in 2001 and has repeatedly failed to pass into law. Visit the Anti-Defamation League’s website for more information.
Currently, there is still no Dream Act passed into law. However, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have proposed a new bipartisan Dream Act of 2023, establishing a pathway to citizenship for certain Dreamers undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age and have grown up here. Visit the FWD.us website, a bipartisan political organization, for more information and a by-the-numbers breakdown.