immigrant scholarship

Immigrant Scholarship Hustle: Ray Ybarra Maldonado keynote speech

IMG_5353.jpgAbogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado with DACAmented and undocumented students from the Immigrant Scholarship Hustle Program.

On July 16, Abogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado visited the Phoenix Coding Academy to speak with students from the Immigrant Scholarship Hustle Program. The Immigrant Scholarship Hustle is an intensive scholarship program for immigrant students in the State of Arizona.

Abogado Ray began with sharing his story on how immigration has impacted his life. He spoke about growing up in Douglas, Arizona and how the borderland was his playground, crossing to and from Mexico with little to no enforcement. However, in 1999 that changed as migrants from Mexico crossed at higher rates and white nationalist minutemen took action to stop them. Abogado Ray took action to record and photograph the minutemen who’s goals were to harass and demoralize migrant families from coming into the United States. He succeeded in protecting migrant families and began his first steps in the legal process.

He later spoke to students about attending ASU and Cochise Community College in Douglas, AZ on an athletic scholarship playing baseball. After graduating with a  bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies he attended the prestigious Stanford Law School. Expressing to the students that despite living in a household that lived paycheck to paycheck and coming from a place with little resources.  That it is our work ethic and our desire to succeed that will help us progress. Inspiring an entire room of students who may feel like they have little to look forward to.

Abogado Ray also informed the students about the history of DACA and the DREAM act. What each piece of legislation means and the requirements the students need to meet for each program. Ray also mentioned the different and most popular types of VISA’s that the students could possibly qualify for in the near future. The students took notes and were provided with resources by Ybarra Maldonado Law Group for them to keep and utilize. The students asked questions about their legal status and situations that may favor them to one day become legal residents. Ray also handed out books and a t-shirt to one lucky student who asked a remarkable question at the end of the presentation.

Abogado Ray hopes that his presentation and story has inspired and well informed the students to look towards the path of citizenship. Leaving the students with more information, tools, and resources than they may have previously had.

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