Nine teachers with Deferred Action status were honored Friday by the White House as “Champions of Change” for their leadership as educators in their communities.
“It’s a recognition of all the work that we’ve done,” Maria Dominguez, one of the honorees, said on msnbc Monday. “I’m not talking about just me, but the people that work around me to make things happen.”
Dominguez, who was brought to the U.S. as a child by her widowed mother who worked multiple jobs, says she knew there would be obstacles in her way, particularly when it came to pursuing college.
She said it’s important for her to be able to share her own story with her students. “I tell my story because when they talk to me, I know they feel afraid of the status of their parents, which is normal, but I tell them: I came from the same community you did. This is my story and if I did it, you can do it,” Dominguez said.
She added, “Some of my kids’ parents have two jobs and I know they come home late and sometimes they don’t do their homework. So letting them know that even though it might be hard and that they’re going to be facing obstacles, everything is possible.”