Mesa Community College (MCC) student Abby, is a first generation college student whose status as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), requires her to pay out-of-state tuition. “I realize that my college education is a powerful privilege, and I plan to utilize my privilege to empower others," said Abby.
Currently studying sociology, Abby is considering minoring in Chicano studies. She enjoys the familiarity of MCC, as it’s a campus that her brothers’ previously attended and provides her with a sense of security. Although she will have to pay out-of-state tuition, Abby plans to further her education by transfering to a university.
The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation is proud to support students like Abby through scholarships. The Foundation established the Hope Scholarship to help those who have to pay out-of-state tuition, as students who once paid $85 per credit hour, must now pay $326 per credit hour. An increase of 283.5%, the recent Arizona Supreme Court ruling has caused a significant decline in DACA student enrollment. To date, the Hope Scholarship along with other Foundation scholarships, have awarded $141,864 and has allowed more than 120 DACA students keep their dreams alive.
Abby says, “There are many issues that our country is facing. To me, the way to understand, treat and solve these issues is through education. Sociology allows me to gain that perspective, analyze history and see how deeply rooted many of today's issues are.” She continued, “I would advise others like me to look around and know that there are people who are going through the same thing you are. They are right alongside you and are there for you. Some of the best mentors are facing the same issues and they will be there for your every step of the way. Never stop fighting for your education.”
Abby sees herself working with students and their families at a public school and hopes to impact their high school and college completion in some way, shape or form. “Through the education and leadership training I am receiving at MCC, there is not a doubt in my mind that I will make a difference,” she said. “My education is successfully bringing me one step closer to a better future for me, my family, and my community.”
To support more students like Abby, and the Hope Scholarship, click here. To learn more about other opportunities that provide resources for our students to thrive, visit the Foundation’s Food Pantry and Emergency Fund program pages.