In today’s world, one can be robbed of almost anything. Food. Home. Family. But, there’s one thing that cannot be taken away once it’s been mastered thoroughly: education. Yes, there are places where educational opportunities for the undocumented are compromised, girls have been shot for going to school, and books have been set aflame. However, these unfortunate acts of terrorism and exclusion are not going to change the world. Only education is.
Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, founder of DREAMer’s Roadmap, is on a mission to make this clear. Drawing from her own high school experience, Salamanca has translated her love for education into a career in technology by creating this app to benefit the 2.1 million undocumented children currently residing in the US. Salamanca’s dedication has earned her the prestigious honor of being named a 30 Under 30 Forbes Honoree among the world’s education entrepreneurs. DREAMer’s Roadmap strives to brighten the lives of undocumented immigrants by exposing them to the power of scholarships. Scholarships are a vital tool in today’s increasingly competitive college application race. Organizations from Coca-Cola to the Calvin Coolidge Foundation to Taco Bell are contributing to closing the student loan gap. Paying for college can be quite draining on the pockets, but every scholarship powers passion for education. I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Sarahi Salamanca and learning from her story. Her vision illustrates that education has no boundaries.
Who or what inspired you to start DREAMer’s Roadmap?
My personal story. My senior year I found out that I was not going to qualify for FAFSA nor any of the scholarships my peers were applying for. When I told my counselor my situation she didn’t know where to find money for me either. I was not able to go to college after high school. So I decided to bridge the gap with my app so my story would not repeat.
What is the next big overarching goal for DREAMer’s Roadmap?
To raise $500,000 in a campaign we will launch soon.
Has creating DREAMer’s roadmap changed you in any way? If so, how?
Yes, it has reminded me that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to despite what society has to say what people like me can and cannot do.
Did you ever envision a career in technology before you created DREAMer’s Roadmap? Why or why not?
I did not envision myself in this field because growing up I was never exposed to this field as an option. I always thought I would be a teacher or a social worker since I love to help others.
Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon that
one can use to change the world.” What are your thoughts on this quote and how
does it relate to the mission of DREAMer’s Roadmap?
This is actually the cover photo on our twitter account. I strongly believe this is true! Once we educate ourselves there is no limit to what we can accomplish. No one can take this away from us and we can use in our power to create the change needed in the world.
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