San Antonio Resident Pursues Career in Education Thanks to DACA Program

Julia Verzbickis shared her story via the New York Times Opinion project “American Dreamers”

Julia Verzbickis was 9 years-old when she arrived to United States with her family. With hopes of adjusting her status, the family saw their immigration case crumble due to the ill advice of a “fraudulent” immigration attorney. Julia was just a high school freshman when she discovered she was undocumented.

Despite all of the challenges that Julia faced due to her immigration status, she was determined to make a difference. She graduated top of her class, was admitted to Rutgers University, and went on to apply to DACA a week after he 21st birthday.

Julia describes the benefits DACA has afforded her via a New York Times Opinion section:

The week after my twenty-first birthday, I got notice that my DACA application had been approved. Within 12 hours, I’d applied for a social security card, and within a week, I’d filled out dozens of job applications. I got a license, for the first time, ever.
In November 2014, I got into Teach For America. I was placed in San Antonio, 1,800 miles away from New Jersey. I graduated college the following May, cum laude, with a double-major in English and Journalism.
In August 2015, I started teaching. I also met the man that would become the love of my life. I had a new life in a new state and I was all by myself for the first time ever, and I couldn’t be more excited.
I’ve been teaching middle school since then, and I love it. My kids are amazing. They drive me nuts on any given day, but I love them.

Julia attributes her success to hard work and the DACA program. She worries what would happen to her life is the DACA program was terminated by the Trump administration:

Knowing that I could lose all the freedom I’ve gained is a paralyzing fear. I’ve worked so hard, and my life was just coming together, and now it might fall apart again. I hope that doesn’t happen, but if I’ve learned anything these last 15 years, it’s to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Dozens of stories like Julia’s are available via the New York Time’s “American Dreamers” project.

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