For July's Spotlight On Dreamer Alumni, we chat with Stephanie Sosa, a Dreamer graduate from our Melrose I cohort. A big thank you to Stephanie for sharing her story, which we hope you will enjoy as much as we do!
Name: Stephanie Sosa
Dreamer Cohort: Melrose I
Year joined program/Which grade were you in?: 3rd grade
What did you think about “I Have A Dream” – New York when you were in school? I was very appreciative of “I Have A Dream.” I had somewhere to go after school and during the summer. There was always something exciting going on and I never wanted to miss a day.
What High School did you attend, and what year did you graduate? Talent Unlimited, Class of 2008
Did you go to college/secondary school? If so, where and what did you study? Siena College, Social Work Class of 2012 and New York University- Wagner School of Public Service, Master of Urban Planning Class of 2014
What are you doing now? I graduated with my master’s degree in May and finishing up my community development fellowship at Fordham Bedford Housing until the end of June.
How would you explain the “I Have A Dream” program to someone who had never heard of it? The “I Have a Dream” program is a network of people who believe that children in need have the right to decide who they want to be in the future. “I Have A Dream” provides Dreamers with the resources they need in order for them to benefit from the education system as much as possible and introduces them to a new family of people who supports and believes in them.
How did being a Dreamer affect you? Being a Dreamer raised my self-esteem and taught me that I can be whatever I want to be as long as I work for it. I also gained a lot of academic and social skills that have allowed me to excel as a student and professional.
What were some of your favorite memories about being a Dreamer? I loved spending time and growing with my cohort. We had our ups and downs, but we became a family and always supported each other.
Would you be where you are today without “I Have A Dream” – New York? Why or why not? I believe that I would have gone to college and graduate school, but my situation would have completely different. The level of support that I received while being in the program allowed me to accomplish a lot more than I probably would have been able to on my own.
What does your family think of “I Have A Dream” – New York? My family is appreciative of the program and all of the opportunities that it has provided for me.
Are you still involved with “I Have A Dream” – New York? How? I am still involved with “I Have a Dream.” I have spoken to Dreamers at different events about my experiences with the program. I have also met with Dreamer Alumni in the past.
If you are a Dreamer Alum who would like to share your story for the blog, please contact Thierry Cazeau at firstname.lastname@example.org