Georgetown Dreamer Finds Her Calling Through Education

Maria Gaytan-Martinez and her family came to the United States from Mexico when she was only four years old. She grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, where she worked hard to be a role model for her younger niece and nephew.

Maria was selected for gifted programs in school, competed for her school’s cross country and track teams, and graduated with a perfect GPA. She also volunteered as a tutor at her local library and was dedicated to helping other first-generation students in Waukegan pursue a college education. Her hard work and dedication paid off when she was accepted to Georgetown University, a school where she could apply her benefits from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

But Maria is concerned about what lies ahead in terms of her DACA status. The concern hasn’t slowed her down, but we all have a stake in her ability to continue to thrive, prosper and give back to others.

Maria is just weeks away from graduating from Georgetown. She has been active on campus, and she has continued to find time to mentor students at DC Public Schools, as well as students from her hometown. She has been a camp counselor for individuals with disabilities and interned for her Congressman in Illinois. In just a few months, she will begin her career as a special education teacher in Milwaukee through Teach for America, continuing to give back to those in her community who need it the most.

Information provided by Scott Fleming, Interim Vice President for Federal Relations at the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

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.