There are 700,000 young individuals such as myself who are living under the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We do not know when our safety in this country is no longer guaranteed. Yet, this has not stopped us from persevering.
DACA recipients contribute more than $42 billion to the annual GDP in America. Of Dreamers, 96% are either enrolled in school or are working, 60% have purchased a vehicle, 14% have purchased a home and 6% have started their own business.
DACA is exactly what so many young individuals needed to accomplish their dreams. I spent countless hours working towards my dream of going to college. I researched universities and their admission policies, scholarships and their citizenship requirements. After many sleepless nights, I secured a full-tuition scholarship at a great university in an even greater city (New York City).
DACA has given me the opportunity to pursue my dreams of becoming a creative director, a privilege that many before me did not have the opportunity to do. My time in the industry has allowed me to develop my skills as a creative, learn about the moving parts of an agency and to think strategically about campaign development. Above all, my experience as a DACA recipient has provided me with a set of unique insights that enable me to be a strong storyteller and speak to young Latinos.
It is essential that brands identify their support of DACA as part of their mission to embrace diversity.
Despite the hardship, DACA recipients prove their resilience with our success as a community and it’s important that industries begin to recognize the strength of DACA recipients. As I began developing my career in advertising, I continued that fight. I was inspired by the stories of resilience I encountered such as the journey of Daisy Expósito-Ulla the Chairman and CEO of d expósito & Partners. I had the pleasure of hearing her story at an advertising event in 2018 called Lunch with Leaders. Expósito-Ulla had come to the United States as a political refugee and was able to become a successful businesswoman. Her drive and motivation to succeed pushed me to pursue my goals. Upon graduating from college, despite the global pandemic that left thousands of graduates unemployed, I was offered the one intern opportunity at d expósito & Partners.
As industries advance their efforts to diversify, they have maintained transparency with their audience though their marketing efforts. It is essential that brands identify their support of DACA as part of their mission to embrace diversity. Tech companies including Microsoft, Apple, Google and retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy have urged the President to keep the DACA program alive. These brands recognize the indispensable value that Dreamers provide to not only to the economy but to society as well.
These brands have identified the opportunity that Dreamers offer for the country, their stories of resilience provide unique insights into the world that aid the nation in having a competitive advantage on a global scale. It has become clear that Dreamers are crucial to the future of the country; industries need to begin to show their support for them and communicate their value as individuals.
I have been given the opportunity to use my voice to advocate for my community. This has been a fight fought by many before me. There is a true power to seeing yourself represented in your community, in the media and in your profession. As our society and the advertising industry continue to embrace true diversity, I hope to see more support and opportunities given to Dreamers. One day, I aspire to be in the position to give others the same opportunities that were given to me and prove the value of the DACA community in this country.