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Dreamers, Dream students and AB 540 students are all terms for a specific population at Fresno State, and, according to Gabriela D. Encinas, coordinator of the Dream Success Center (formerly University Migrant Services), this group accounts for around 800 Dreamers or 3 percent of Fresno State’s student body as of last semester.
There are 109 incoming freshmen Dreamers this semester, and thanks to a grant, the Dream Success Center will be able to recruit 20 peer mentors, said Encinas.
The program is one of two under the university’s new Dream Center Initiative that began last fall to serve undocumented students — called “Dreamers” after the California Dream Act — as they seek access to higher education and pursue a college degree.
The center is always seeking resources to better aid Dreamers, she said. This led to the establishment of a campaign through the Fresno State development office known as “Making Dreams Come True.” Anyone interested in contributing may contact Encinas or David Hembree for details and procedures. These contributions will provide Dreamers with scholarships and resources, she said.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students also may have the opportunity to study abroad for educational purposes and humanitarian reasons. Encinas will provide any Dreamers with the legal resources to make that possibility a reality. The Dream Success Center has many of the answers based on what Dreamers are going through, Encinas said.
The peer mentor application deadline is Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. These future peer mentors, along with the success center, will work toward student retention and graduation success for all Dreamers at Fresno State. Also, it can provide the necessary tools to navigate Fresno State and the financial aid process, Encinas said.
The Success Center is located in the Joyal Administration Building, Room 224. Encinas can be reached at (559) 278-1554. Encinas said this is a safe place to find any answers Dreamers seek. Dreamers interested in the resources provided by the center may visit fresnostate.edu/dsc.