Photo courtesy of The Chaparral.
BY ESTEFANIA MOREIRA
The Dreamer Resource Center will open its doors Oct. 10, 2019. The center is located in the South Annex section of College of the Desert’s Palm Desert campus. Staff say the center will offer a supportive environment for undocumented COD students.
Counselor Jose Simo and Rubi Becerril Gonzalez, a COD outreach specialist, are committed to providing essential services and resources to AB 540 students.
The Dreamer Resource Center will provide referrals to additional services students may need. The center’s staff will also be working closely with community partners for undocumented students to have access to legal consultations and other services, such as DACA renewal, permanent residency, citizenship and an understanding of your a worker’s rights.
Legal screening will be provided for students that will allow them to apply, if eligible, for permanent residency regarding their case. Simo said, “some students do not know or are not aware they may be eligible to apply. In the Dreamer Resource Center, we connect students with our working community partnerships such as the TODEC Legal Center for legal services to help them.”
The center’s goal is to connect undocumented students with community services which they will find beneficial. The Dreamer Resource Center will also provide academic advising for students who are pursuing a certificate or a degree to transfer.
The center supports the student’s process. “This will be the place where undocumented students will have access to information they may require,” said Becerril.
The Dreamer Resource Center could not have come to be without the inspiration, encouragement and diligence of the student club, Alas Con Futuro. Active since 2009, this club has helped guide undocumented students for information access, financial resources and information on their legal rights.
For the past eleven years, Alas Con Futuro has done a lot of community outreach for high school students and continues to do so today. The club and the center are both separate entities, yet they both work together to help undocumented students.
The center will also be used for workshops, scholarship information and help undocumented students work on college assignments. No applications are needed to be able to come to the center; students who come from undocumented families and want information about their parents status can also stop by.
“This is a need for our undocumented students at College of the Desert. There are about 15,000 students and a good eight percent may be undocumented,” said Simo. He said Amanda Phillips, the supervisor and interim dean of counseling has been super supportive of their mission for the center to open for undocumented students.
COD undocumented students have a center with helpful services. The center is the first to open in the valley and it is a fresh start for the future.
If you are undocumented and have questions or need more information, contact outreach specialist Rubi Becerril Gonzalez at 760-565-4850. Or visit www.collegeofthedesert.edu/dreamers.