A grassroots, environmental justice organization based in San Francisco’s Mission District

Jacqueline Cruz

The Obama Administration’s announcement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in June 2012 changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Dream generation students who came to the U.S. as children. These young leaders have built a movement to transform the current broken immigration system that deports hard working immigrants, separates families and criminalizes immigrants for seeking better life opportunities.

The barriers that Dreamers have encountered in navigating the current immigration system have not has stopped them from working hard to achieve their education and career goals and give back to their communities.

Such is the story of one of PODER’s bright, energetic youth leaders, Jacqueline Cruz. PODER referred her to a free legal clinic sponsored by San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network to assist Dreamers with the DACA application process. A few weeks after soliciting DACA, her application was approved.

Since graduating from San Francisco’s prestigious Lowell High School, Jackie has been attending San Francisco State University. She divides her time between school, friends, family and her community work with the Youth Warrior Award and Fellowship program at the City’s Department of Children Youth and their Families and PODER’s youth organizing program.

Deferred Action has changed the lives of young people in the United States. And PODER has been there for students to guide them and support them throughout the DACA process.