Published on January 2nd, 2018 | by editor0
Iris Borrego – from Wright College to Dominican University
Iris Borrego, a Wright alumna who transferred to Dominican University, recently won the Dream.US scholarship, a prestigious scholarship for DACA students. The application opened on November 1, 2017, and Iris would like to encourage other students to apply for the scholarship.
Please read the inspiring journey of Iris Borrego below.
“My name is Iris Borrego, and I am a Wright College alumna.
I came to the United States from Mexico when I was ten years old. Growing up, I did not consider myself any different from other children who lived in the United States. I attended grade school in Chicago, IL, and received my high school diploma from Foreman High School in 2000.
Initially, when I was eighteen years old, I really wanted to attend college. However, due to my undocumented status, I could not register for college courses immediately. In 2012, when I received my DACA permit, I was thirty years old. That was when I decided to go back to school.
After being away from school for so long, I wanted to improve my writing skills before entering the college arena. I signed up for ESL courses at Wright College. Subsequently, under the mentorship of Ms. Laura Nitanda, I became a Gateway Scholar. The Gateway Scholars Program helped pay my tuition and offered extra academic advising throughout college.
Originally, I was thinking about pursuing a degree in nursing. I started to change my pathway after taking my first psychology course with Professor Holmes. Her course made me fall in love with psychology. After taking Professor Holmes’s course, I decided to take another psychology course with Professor Simantirakis. In fall 2014, I declared psychology as my major.
While attending Wright College, one of the most significant challenges that I faced was balancing work, school, and family. I remember breastfeeding my youngest child when completing assignments for school. As a single mother of three children, the first couple semesters were extremely difficult for me, but with support from my friends and mentors at Wright College, I overcame my obstacles.
In addition to taking courses at Wright, I was also actively involved in extracurricular activities. I was a part of the team that founded the Gateway Scholars Club, which is a student organization that helps Adult Education students transition to college. As an advocate for undocumented and DACA students, I attended a student panel at Harold Washing College and voiced different ways to support DACA and undocumented students. After receiving my DACA work permit, I obtained a work-study position at Wright College Humboldt Park Satellite Center. I was a part of the Adult Education department.
I graduated from Wright College in the spring of 2017. A few weeks after the graduation, I received the news that I won the Dream.US Scholarship—an award totaling $30,000. In addition, I obtained a full-ride scholarship to Dominican University. Now, I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree at Dominican University, with a goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.
I am extremely grateful for the support that I received at Wright College. I particularly want to recognize and express gratitude toward Ms. Nitanda, Mr. Rasquin, Professor Connolly, Professor Holmes, Professor Simantirakis, and the Wright College writing center.
I thought for a minute that everything was going to stop after the termination of DACA. I became depressed, but when I started to think about all the possibilities in life, I started to feel more hopeful. I want to tell all DACA and undocumented students to keep pursuing their dreams. Don’t be afraid because everything is possible.”