Marie’s Story

“My parents sacrificed everything for me, and I am living out their dream.”
– Marie Gonzalez, 21, Fulton, Missouri

As the The Washington Post, The Washington Times and News Tribune have reported…
Marie Gonzalez Marie Gonzalez gets good grades and participates in numerous campus activities. “I am in Kappa Kappa Gamma, Student Ambassadors, Student Foundation, President of the French Club, Member of the Remley Women’s Center Advisory Board, Chairperson of the Student Togetherness and Action Through Education Committee, and Habitat for Humanity,” she says. Still, Marie may never graduate from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. The 21-year old sophomore is an undocumented student, who left her native Costa Rica with her parents when she was five. Growing up in Jefferson City, Missouri, Marie always excelled in school, In 2005, her parents were deported to Costa Rica. While Marie was allowed to stay, she may be deported after completing her junior year. “It tugs at my heart that I may not graduate,” says the aspiring lawyer. With her parents far away (she calls them about once a week), Marie relies on her extended family in California, and her friends in Jefferson City. “I’m blessed to have good support, but the financial and emotional situation is always a roller coaster,” she says of the tuition and living expenses she juggles on her own. Scholarships and student loans cover some of her college costs, she also works on campus and baby-sits to get by. “Everything happens for a reason,” says Marie. “I’m a stronger person because of all this, and I intend to fight to the last minute.”

The Goal: $11,000 for Marie’s junior year of college, renewal of her work permit, and living expenses

Read more about Marie: The Washington Post, The Washington Times, News Tribune
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Reported by Lixandra Urresta