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Dreamers of JPMorgan Chase
For Immigrant Heritage Month in the U.S. in June, JPMorgan Chase colleagues shared their experiences as recipients of the DACA program, which established legal status for some child immigrants to the U.S. The "Dreamers" get their name from the DREAM Act, a bill that aimed to grant legal status to young immigrants under the age of 18 years of age.
Last year, Waleed Qamar published a blog about his life under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, with the aspiration of educating peers about what it means to be a “Dreamer," or DACA recipient. He hoped that in sharing his story, he would empower others in similar situations to do so as well.
As a child, Waleed's mother would remind him that every small deed is a catalyst for change. “Little drops of water make an ocean," she would say with a smile. Little did he know that his drop of hope would turn into reality.
After his blog was published, heartwarming messages began to pour in, including messages from fellow Dreamers both at JPMorgan Chase and other banks. They wrote of understanding his journey, which was similar to their own, and appreciating the support they've received at JPMorgan Chase as Dreamers.
“For the first time, I felt like I could open up about my struggles without feeling like a burden. I felt like I belonged," Waleed said. Below are some of the messages shared with him by fellow Dreamers of JPMorgan Chase. “As we honor Immigrant Heritage Month in June, I hope we can appreciate how brave these individuals are for pushing past both stigma and fear to share their remarkable journeys."
Evelia Lopez Galicia immigrated to the U.S. at the age of four with her mother.
“JPMorgan Chase has been incredible. I started my journey as a 20-year-old part-time teller and remember my mom saying, 'take this opportunity – the doors are open, you just have to continue to work hard.' Ten years later and I am still here. Life under DACA hasn't been easy, but I am grateful to be an employee at a company that supports Dreamers. This this motivates me to work even harder."
Dafne Dominguez Sanchez is a UAT Testing Analyst based in Tampa, Florida. This July marks her one-year anniversary at JPMorgan Chase.
“I was two years old when my family and I immigrated to the United States, a country I am proud to call home. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to work here at the bank, and for 'Year Up,' an accelerated job training program for young adults, for helping me get here. Being a Dreamer means you are constantly living in limbo. You never know what's next. I just wish we could all be taken into consideration with compassion as human beings, and not just based on our status."
Alex Ortiz immigrated to the U.S. with his father when he was 11-years old.
“I take great pride in being one of the first in my family to attend college, start a successful career, become a homeowner, and most recently, buy an apartment that I now lease to an immigrant family with similar limited opportunities due to their legal status and language barrier. I remember so many strangers, teachers, and employers opening their doors to me and my dad 16 years ago–they embraced us and made us feel welcome despite everything else. It made me realize people do care. I couldn't have done it without their help and the life-changing program DACA has become."
Nina Arias-Perez immigrated to the U.S. from Costa Rica at just six months old with her parents.
“This photo is of me, my mom, my grandmother, and great grandmother. Four generations of resilient, hardworking women. Although I am a former DACA recipient, I will always remember my path, both the difficulties and triumphs that have led me here. To be in a place like JPMC where you are valued and celebrated because of who you are, not in spite of, makes me beyond proud and thankful to those that have helped me along the way – especially my mom, grandparents, and husband. Even though the process of DACA can feel isolating and scary, just know you are not alone!"