The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Students for Quality Education award scholarships for the first time

The UndocuScholars Coalition and Students for Quality Education will be awarding six undocumented students the Educación Sin Fronteras Scholarship for the first time at Sonoma State University. 

The scholarship has been funded through money raised at the Undocu5k which takes place in April with last year being the first time the event was held in order to raise money for the scholarships. 

The scholarship offers undocumented students who attend SSU or those who are part of either Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), License Information (AB-60), California Dream Act, and AB-540, the financial support to succeed in their academic career. 

Briana Rodriguez, co-founder of the undocu5K, and Monica Robledo, former UndocuScholars president, were set on selecting those who demonstrated leadership skills throughout Sonoma State and showed that they financially needed the award. 

“We ask for a little statement of purpose of what they’re going through and how this scholarship would benefit them,” said Rodriguez. “We blocked out everyone’s name and went through the random process, we didn’t want to feel bias by any names.”

According to Rodriguez, with the Undocu5k being new to campus, the goal is to spread awareness of the event to raise as much money to put towards the scholarship. 

The number of recipients who are awarded with the scholarship is based on how much money is raised at the Undocu 5k. Each year can differ depending on the number of participants who participate or donate to the 5k. 

Mariana Martinez, faculty advisor to the UndocuScholars Coalition club said that the brain child was really Briana who is an ally member of UndoScholars Coalition.

“I think that for the first time in not having that much money we actually put it together with $250,” said Rodriguez. “We pretty much put it together the month before because we weren’t getting the responses from campus that we wanted, but we had a lot of community members come out and show support the day of, which we didn’t think would happen.” 

This organization aids students with information and help to understand the community in which they live in. Along with the financial award, the organization is also fundraising to give the opportunity to visit other universities for those who are planning on attending graduate school. 

Robledo explains the requirements the scholarship asks of any applicant is that they acquire a passion for education and hope to apply that knowledge into their communities. 

Any members who are leaders in the UndocuScholars Coalition are not allowed to apply because they want to assure students that just because one holds a leadership position they would have the upper hand in receiving this award. 

“This opportunity offers a group of students who are suffering in their education the help to progress and find their voice in the community, said Rodriguez. “I hope it spreads awareness about this issue that not all of us have access to education and it’s not always affordable.”

Rodriguez hopes that the scholarship opens more opportunities for events like the Undocu5k that help undocumented students in some way to pursue their education.  

The resources on campus for undocumented students are very limited, including money awards that can help students succeed through their college career. The financial stress accompanied with the fear that can come with being an undocumented student is a barrier that the UndocuScholars Coalition and Students for Quality Education are hoping to break down. 

Maria Nolasco-Ramirez, a senior anthropology and chicano and latino studies major, is one of the recipients of the scholarship and says that it has inspired her in many ways.

“Coming to Sonoma State there wasn’t really an active voice for undocumented students so when the scholarship was made available to students it was like wow there are people here supporting us and there are changes being made here at this university,” said Nolasco-Ramirez. “It’s very inspiring to know that something that didn’t exist can be created and made possible.”

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