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A scholarship to support undocumented youth was started at Hampshire College in 2012, among the first established at any private college.
The scholarship is needed because the public sources of financial aid for college in the US are denied to undocumented youth. These are promising young adults who were brought to this country as babies or children, grew up here, and may have graduated near the top of their American high school class. Like most students, their dream of a college education would not be possible without financial aid. Unlike most students, they cannot apply for the usual grants and loan programs available to their friends.
Hampshire's scholarship endowment for undocumented students is funded solely through gifts from private donors, over 350 who have given gifts large and small. Today, the endowment has grown large enough to provide a full scholarship to a student admitted to Hampshire. So far three students have received scholarships, and one has already graduated. These students have contributed so much to the Hampshire community. One was the student commencement speaker. Another was elected as a student member of the Board of Trustees. Their futures as college graduates in society are wonderfully promising.
Hampshire aims to increase the endowment so it can provide more than one scholarship. Many students apply each year. Anyone who would like contribute can make a tax-deductible donation online at giving.hampshire.edu. Click on Give Now, then under Select My Initiatives click on Undocumented Student Scholarship. To make a gift by check, you can send it to Hampshire College, Office of College Advancement, 893 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002. Please note in the memo line that your gift is for the Undocumented Student Scholarship fund. Thank you.
"Many of us who went to college in the post-World War II boom went on full scholarships," said sociology professor Margaret Cerullo, who was influential in creating the scholarship. "For a lot of us, access to higher education is a deep principle."
Professor Cerullo credits student work as an inspiration that made her see the need for the funding to address what she considers a social injustice. Her student Jamie Blair's Division III (senior) project work with undocumented students advocating passage of the DREAM act captured her interest.
"Today, with DACA under direct threat, this social justice issue is a higher priority than ever. We have raised money from alums, prior donors, parents, and even the graduating class, and it has made all the difference." said Cerullo. "Now we aim to increase the fund to support many more promising students.”
Click here to make a gift. Thank you.
Initial media coverage:
Huffington Post/AP >>
Boston Globe story >>
Daily Hampshire Gazette >>