Accepting Me For Who I Am
By Alan Lozano, Xavier University ‘21
As a DACA student, I was not offered many scholarships to attend college, and did not qualify to apply for FAFSA due to my undocumented status. When doing my college search, the first fear for my parents and me was looking to see which schools would accept DACA students; the second was money. Being the middle child of three children and having an older brother (who is also a DACA student) in college was not easy for my family. I knew it was going to be hard for my parents to afford two college tuitions without any help from scholarships. So, without many other opportunities, I had to turn to applying for external scholarships.
This led me to finding Xavier. When it came to DACA status, I saw that it was a very accepting campus. I looked for scholarships that I would be able to apply for and stumbled upon the Community Engaged Fellowship scholarship. This scholarship was a lengthy process from the initial application to a series of interviews. Weeks after my interview, I was notified that I had received the scholarship. This was a very emotional moment for my family and me, as it gave me the opportunity to be able to commit to Xavier.
Once here at Xavier University, I felt as if my life had become more open. In high school, I was very conservative when it came to sharing my status due to feeling like I would be an outcast if I shared this information. Xavier opened my eyes to how accepting people can be when it comes to knowing about my status, due to Xavier’s Jesuit values. The Jesuit values of focusing on the whole person rather than just solely on academics really made me feel more self worth and more confidence about expressing myself. I was able to start opening up not only about my status but also about MY story.
My scholarship also requires that I complete 10 hours of service a week. This opened yet another door to being more open to sharing about myself. I feel comfortable at Xavier and I can definitely say it is a home away from home.
Alan Lozano is a sophomore at Xavier University, where he is a double-major in Psychology and Spanish, with a minor in Social Work.
As the House Judiciary Committee prepares to mark up H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) encourages all students, faculty, staff and alumni of the nation’s 28 Jesuit institutions to contact their members of Congress and ask for their support to protect DACA students, as well as those who benefit from TPS and DED. Click here to contact your member today.