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Miami Dade College Joins National Effort to Help DREAMers Obtain Career-Ready College Education

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Miami, February 11, 2014 - Miami Dade College (MDC) has joined TheDream.US, a national movement created to help DREAMer students afford a college education by providing scholarships designed specifically for them.

At a special meeting today at the college’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower, MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón met with the MDC students awarded Dream.US scholarships and their campus advisors. The students ceremoniously signed their scholar commitment forms.

“The DREAM movement began at Miami Dade College when a group of undocumented students walked to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness and state their case before Congress,” said Dr. Padrón. “These students – the DREAMers – are among the finest we have ever served: hard-working, dedicated and motivated. They deserve every opportunity to make the American Dream their own reality.”  

TheDream.US was co-founded by Graham Holdings Company CEO Donald E. Graham, Democratic activist and philanthropist Henry R. Muñoz III and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to provide college scholarships that will enable highly motivated, low-income DREAMers graduate with career-ready college degrees. Already more than $25 million has been raised for TheDream.US from philanthropic and business leaders from across the country. The first round of scholars received scholarships in December. Of the 39 students across the nation who received scholarships, 22 are from MDC.

Scholarship recipient Cristina Velasquez moved from Venezuela to Wisconsin at age 6. She is now enrolled in the honors program at Miami Dade College and wants to become a lawyer. Her scholarship from TheDream.US means that she will be able to stop working so she can join the honors’ society. She’ll continue tutoring and aim for a summer government relations program. Being able to leave the job and focus on her studies is “a weight off my shoulders,” she says.

Joining MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón were Donald E. Graham, Candy Marshall, president of TheDream.US, and Gaby Pacheco, an MDC alumna and DREAMer who has played a critical role in bringing national attention to the plight of immigrants like herself.  

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366, rromero3@mdc.edu, media specialist
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359, khill1@mdc.edu, media specialist




Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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