Wichita State offers first DACA scholarship in university history

Local

A Wichita State organization is offering four scholarships to Dreamers.

“We knew that this university did not offer any scholarships towards that marginalized population and our goal at that point was to try and help those students finally acquire an education and come here,” said Tony Ibarra.

The scholarships are for students who are under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program protects young, undocumented immigrants from deportation.

“The scholarship obviously is to support students, undocumented students, specifically to further their education and not have them stress about their finances while attending WSU,” Ibarra said.

Ibarra is a senior at WSU and a member of Sigma Lamda Beta International Fraternity. He and his twin brother, Alex, are also DACA recipients.

“I feel as if I was born here. I don’t know anything from my home country. All I know is is this country,” Ibarra said.

That’s one of the many reasons why Ibarra said he and his fraternity brothers decided to do what they could to make the scholarships possible.

“When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DACA was being rescinded, the fraternity concluded that it was our duty to help those who are under represented in this community, so we decided to fundraise some money by selling 700 burritos last semester and we gathered the money with the help of Student Government Association and that’s how we came about with the scholarship,” he said.

Sigma Lambda Beta will award students one $1,500, one $1,000, and two $500 scholarships. Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students or incoming freshman and DACA recipients.

Ibarra said he’s grateful to be part of the organizations that have made the scholarship possible.

“To have something where we can actually give back to students that will actually help them further their education is absolutely everything to me,” he said.

President Donald Trump set a deadline of March 5 to end the DACA program unless Congress came up with a legislative solution. The deadline has passed and DACA is still intact.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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