As the Supreme Court took up the case, I spoke against Arizona's anti-immigrant law, SB1070, at a Capitol Hill press conference.
Please support Make the Road New York's summer youth leadership program today!
My name is Katherine Tabares, and my parents and I came to the United States two years ago from Colombia in search of the American Dream. I am a senior at International High School at La Guardia Community College in Queens and the president of my school's student government. I am also a youth leader at Make the Road where I fight for immigrant rights.
Last year, my father gave up on his life here and went back to Colombia, leaving my mother and me alone in this country. My mother works two jobs, including every night and weekend to have enough income to support the two of us. I almost never get to see her, and it is very painful. But she is my hero: a woman who never slows down or gives up and is always encouraging the people around her to be their best.
That is what I am working to do at Make the Road New York as a participant in the 2012 Action Summer. Every year, this intensive 5-week internship program trains up to 50 high-schoolers, from immigrant communities of color in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, on the skills we need to be advocates for our communities, get into college, get good jobs and motivate and inspire our peers.
We need your help to raise $10,000 to sponsor 10 more Action Summer youth. Click here to sponsor!
Last year was my first year in Action Summer, and I can tell you, this was no ordinary high school internship. Before coming to MRNY, I didn't know much about education issues or the impact I could have. But the youth leaders at MRNY helped me begin to develop myself as an advocate for undocumented students and other young, LGBTQ Latinas like me.
In May, I spoke alongside Speaker Silver at the press conference announcing passage of the DREAM Fund in the NY State Assembly
I spent my summer:
- Leading community outreach and peer-to-peer education on high school reform issues.
- Speaking at press conferences and events to promote undocumented student rights.
- Writing op-eds and letters to the editor.
- Creating visual arts, poetry, and digital productions to tell my personal and my community's stories.
- And developing a resume, cover letter and interviewing skills.
Now I'm 17 and starting college full time in the fall -- something I don't think I would have been able to do without MRNY supporting me every step of the way.
I want more young people to have this opportunity to develop their own voice on the issues they care about and to get a head start on their future. I hope you will help make this a reality by sponsoring one of my fellow youth members this summer.
Thank you so much for helping us to achieve our dreams!
PS: Do you have any tech equipment you'd like to donate? We need your old digital cameras, video cameras, flipcams and audio recorders to help us tell our stories. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an in-kind donation.