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

    Empowering undocumented students through support services at Sonoma State

    One of the programs offered by the Dream Center is the Dream Service Ascension Rep Program (DSEG)
    Photo+by+Dennae+Taylor%0A
    Photo by Dennae Taylor

    As the population of undocumented students, often referred to as Dreamers, continues to grow on campuses nationwide, educational institutions are increasingly recognizing the need for specialized support to help these students navigate challenges related to enrollment, retention, and academic success. Dream Center, Empowering Undocumented Students Through Support Services

    At Sonoma State, the Dream Center supports undocumented students, offering services to guide them on their academic journey and navigate the complexities of their immigration status. With a focus on academic advising, financial aid assistance, legal services, and community collaboration, the Dream Center aims to help students with their academic journey.

    Alma Sanchez-Carreno, the DREAM Center Coordinator said,Academic advising lies at the heart of the Dream Center’s mission. Here, students receive personalized guidance to help them make informed decisions about their academic path. From choosing majors and minors to selecting the right courses, the center ensures that students stay on track toward graduation, providing essential support every step of the way.”

    Sonoma State student Josh Moreno said, “ I think it’s great what they’re doing for these types of students. They already struggle with a lot and all of these great services help them find a path to create a better future for them and their families.”

    Financial aid can often be a significant barrier for undocumented students seeking higher education. However, the Dream Center offers assistance in completing the California Dream Act application, opening doors to financial aid opportunities that might otherwise seem out of reach. Through one-on-one support, students gain access to the resources they need to finance their education and pursue their goals.

    Legal services provided by the Dream Center, in collaboration with CHILA, offer a lifeline to undocumented students facing immigration-related challenges. From DACA renewals to exploring alternative pathways to legal status, such as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and U-Visas, the center ensures that students have access to the legal support they need to navigate complex immigration laws and regulations.

    In addition to direct support services, the Dream Center engages in community outreach and education efforts to raise awareness about the needs and experiences of undocumented students. Through presentations and informational sessions, students, faculty, and staff gain valuable insights into immigration issues and learn how they can support their undocumented peers. The center also sends out regular updates via the MOOC letter, keeping students informed about upcoming events, fellowship opportunities, and other resources available to them.

    One of the standout programs offered by the Dream Center is the Dream Service Ascension Rep Program (DSEG). Through DSEG, students with Cal Grant A or B have the opportunity to earn a stipend by completing volunteer hours. The program not only provides financial support but also fosters a sense of community and engagement among students, empowering them to make a positive impact both on and off campus.

    Collaboration is key to the success of the Dream Center’s mission. By partnering with staff, faculty, administrators, and community members, the center works to create a more inclusive and supportive campus environment for undocumented students. Recent initiatives, such as advocate training sessions and collaborative events with local high schools and community colleges, serve to raise awareness about available resources and ensure that undocumented students feel welcome and supported on campus.

    Donate to Sonoma State Star

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Sonoma State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    About the Contributor
    Julian Moreno, Staff Writer
    Julian Moreno is a fourth year Communication major at Sonoma State.
    Donate to Sonoma State Star