Somerville, MA- This Monday night with a unanimous vote, the Somerville School Committee passed a resolution that supports the concepts of the Dream Act which is currently before both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
“I want to congratulate the Youth Members of Centro Presente and the Welcome Project for their commitment, energy and their courage organizing and mobilizing in support of the Dream Act here in Somerville,” said Patricia Montes, Executive Director of Centro Presente. “The School Committee have sent a clear message to politicians in Massachusetts and in Washington that Somerville believes in all of our youth and we believe in their dreams.”
“This resolution is not only a victory for Somerville’s undocumented students, it is a victory for all Somerville students,” declared Warren Goldstein-Gelb, Executive Director of the Welcome Project. “By supporting the aspirations of this group of students, the School Committee is helping to make the schools a better place for everyone to learn.”
The School Committee heard testimonies from the students of the youth programs as well as Jose Palma, Lead Organizer of the Student Immigrant Movement, which is promoting the Dream Act across Massachusetts and worked with the students.
“My dream is to reach my full potential through education. I want you to feel my desperation for not being able to do what I want to do,” testified Gabriel Maldonado, youth member and Liaison Interpreter for The Welcome Project. “I just want you to understand that I want the same rights that others have. In order for me to keep educating myself, I have to fight for it.”
“All I hope is that my dreams don’t get torn up apart just because I don’t have a piece of paper. I want to be able to accomplish my goals, I want to go to college, be able to study and learn from my peers and become a successful person,” testified Kevin Alegria, youth member of Centro Presente’s Pintamos Nuestro Mundo, youth program.