NEIU Students Bring Solace to Undocumented Community

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsUndocumented students at Northeastern Illinois University held a press conference earlier this week to unveil a new organization that deals with the struggles many of them endure daily. Undocumented Resilient and Organized (URO), the new club at NEIU, is intended to shed light on the issue by developing five core values;

  • Building a community of support among undocumented students at NEIU
  • Creating awareness about issues affecting undocumented students and students of mixed-status families. This includes educating administration, faculty, staff and students but also ourselves.
  • Mentoring undocumented high school students as they transition to higher education.
  • Building bridges among other student organizations on and off campus.
  • Expanding financial resources available to undocumented students through, fundraisers, new scholarships, and other incentives.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Students at Northeastern Illinois University organized a press conference Tuesday afternoon to unveil a new club at NEIU to help support undocumented students through daily struggles. The Club, Undocumented Resilient and Organized (URO), will offer a network of support and create awareness about issues affecting undocumented students.

“I’ve come to an understanding that education is empowering. In order to understand what is going on and why, in order to be heard, we need to educate ourselves, and this allows us to challenge injustices and fight to make change,” said José Herrera, an undocumented student at NEIU and co-founder of URO. Planning for the club began last Fall, when a group of students uneasy about the immigrant reform met to talk about their concerns and dreams. Out of their meeting came the idea to create an organization that aims to foster growth and empowerment. Members of URO used the press conference as a way to celebrate the club’s achievements and show commitment to support the undocumented students at NEIU.

Fellow members of URO include Joselyn Galvez, co-founder and coordinator of URO Club. A native of Honduras, Galvez experienced first-hand the struggle that non-English speakers face in school. In her new role, Galvez wants to develop an environment that would help foreign students adapt to their new country and facilitate their transition in and out of the bilingual program. Lluvia Carrisoza, another member of URO and co-founder, has been undocumented for twelve years and has lived in fear for most of that time. Carrisoza’s goal with URO is to help lesson the struggle of her peers and provide a better college experience. URO is not just for undocumented students, but for anyone that can relate to the undocumented struggle.

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