How DACA Changed My Life – Rodrigo’s Story

United We Dream DACA, Stories

My name is Rodrigo Trejo, and I’m 20 years old. I’m from Tamaulipas, Mexico, a place I have little recollection about since my departure from Mexico to the U.S when I was six years old. Adapting wasn’t so difficult, I picked up the English language at a fast pace, due to my eagerness to learn new things. I would get picked on once in a while because of my broken English, but that only motivated me.

When I was in the 11th grade my step dad was deported, but he had a conversation with me before he was sent back to Mexico. He told me that I was going to have to be the man of the house because he didn’t think he was ever coming back. I didn’t know what he was trying to say at the time, until he passed away crossing the U.S border. He couldn’t bear to be away from his family.

When I received the news that my step dad passed away, I fell into depression because I had lost my father figure. At the same time, I felt uncertain about continuing high school, because I did not know undocumented students could go to college. These two events led me to drop out of school.

When I was out of school I tried to get a job but because of my undocumented status, most places rejected me. I soon realized I made a huge mistake by dropping out , so at the age of 19, I decided to go back to school and I graduated in 2014 at the age of 20.

I heard about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, from family members and I applied because of the opportunity that it brings to those of us who want to continue our education. I am motivated by knowing that I can get a job after earning a degree, which would be a big achievement. After attending the DACA clinics I am no longer scared to say I’m undocumented. I plan to continue my studies and want to help others who have the potential of becoming someone great but because of similar life circumstances, don’t believe in themselves. In the next three years I see myself working, and graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in business.

To the attorneys that helped me with my application, I would like to say thank you, in my eyes y’all are great.

Rodrigo has currently gone through the 2014 Houston Own the Dream 4-week training along with thirteen youth, he is currently a Houston Own the Dream Fellow. Rodrigo has worked with the core team on more than four DACA clinics since November 2013. Thank you Rodrigo for your dedication and giving spirit!