Magazine

Alumni Rally Behind “Dreamers”

CSUN alumni have recognized the need to help Dreamers — students living in the United States with undocumented status — achieve the American dream of graduating from college, working professionally and finding success. Omar Velasco ’00 (Journalism, pictured at lower right) and his wife, Argelia, form the morning-radio tandem on K-LOVE 107.5 FM, Omar y Argelia. Velasco’s father came to the U.S. as a part of the Bracero Program in the 1950s, which gave rights to farm workers in the country illegally. Velasco was born in Jalisco, Mexico, before coming to his new homeland as a teenager. He enrolled in San Fernando High School and came to CSUN after graduation. He’s a U.S. citizen now and can empathize with the plight of the Dreamers. “Who really needs help?” Velasco asked. “I thought about Dreamers.

I thought about their struggles. These are innocent victims of the situation. They were brought here very young. Some of them don’t even speak Spanish. America is everything they know. English is their primary language.” Velasco set up a scholarship for Dreamers coming to CSUN from his high school to help them get out of limbo. “It’s very important to give back to those who need it,” Velasco said. “I want Dreamers to know that no matter how hard it may seem, their dreams are important. And that we’re here to help.” CSUN has a long history of supporting undocumented students through entities such as the student organization, Dreams To Be Heard; the faculty and staff network of allies, Dreams Alliance; and the EOP DREAM Initiative that has established trained advisors in each of CSUN’s colleges.