DREAMers Roadmap App Helps Undocumented Students Find Financial Aid

Copy of [Copy] WordPress Image Size (8)In 2014, Espinoza Salamanca submitted a proposal to Voto Latino’s Innovator Challenge. That idea has since grown into DREAMers Roadmap, a nonprofit app that helps undocumented students across the United States find scholarships as they do not qualify for FASFA.

Winning Voto Latino’s Innovator Challenge earned Espinoza Salamanca $100,000 to fund DREAMers Roadmap.

Since its launch, the app has helped over 20,000 students. Salamanca the app will continue to help undocumented students on their quest for higher education.

“When I was in high school I found out that because I was undocumented I was not going to be able to qualify for FAFSA like all my other friends,” said Espinoza Salamanca. “I asked my counselor for guidance on other options to finance my college education and she said that people like me didn’t go to college.”

According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are close to 3.6 million undocumented immigrants (Dreamers), as of late 2017, who entered the United States before the age of 18. Only a third of that 3.6 million qualified for protection under the Obama Administration’s Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

“We are a country of immigrants and many of our giant companies have been founded by immigrants so why not educate our immigrants and accept them,” said Salamanca. “We as a country are losing so much talent and potential by making it so hard to educate these students. You would think we want to be a society of the most educated people but we make it nearly impossible for these kids to have an opportunity to be an essential part of this country. This is our home too.”

Chantè Russell

Chanté Russell is a Howard University print journalism major from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her entire life has been shaped by her passion for writing, fashion and activism. Those passions have led her to create a blog entitled Be The Zeitgeist and serve as a staff writer for Howard’s student newspaper, The Hilltop. She has also written for Lady With Attitude and worked as a freelance journalist. Some of her biggest role models include Anna Wintour, Maya Angelou and her cousin, Dr. Jennifer Edwards, who inspired Chanté to attend Howard. After completing college, Chanté hopes to work as a fashion journalist and use her platform to combat cultural insensitivity within the fashion industry and improve the public perception of the industry.

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