Undocumented college students in the state will soon be able to participate in a program that will provide them with financial aid.
Community groups that advocate for both immigrants and the young people who could benefit from them are celebrating this success.
Youth Corps is a state program that has been helping youth find jobs in the community for years.
For the first time, the program is being expanded to give students who live irregularly the opportunity to volunteer and receive financial support in return.
Rosa Benito is studying business administration at California State University San Bernardino. She will graduate in 2024. She is one of the many young people who were unable to enroll in the DACA program.
“It was difficult for me because I had to pay for school,” Benito said.
Rosa says she and her family have managed to pay for the books, daily expenses, transportation and materials needed for classes.
He recently told representatives from the California Governor’s Volunteer Office about his odyssey and how the lack of resources affected his studies.
Thanks to his testimony and that of other TODEC Law Center colleagues, young people studying under the California Dream Act will have a new chance to receive financial assistance.
“Knowing that there is a program that can help them and that they have options makes me very happy,” Benito said.
This is an expansion of the program known as Youth Corps, which is dedicated to preparing and training young people for various careers while earning a salary.
The state of California has allocated more than $78 million from the state budget to continue the initiative, and for the first time, undocumented young people can participate.
“This is a great achievement for TODEC because this initiative came from our young people, from our monarchs. We know in advance that young people, people who do not have legal status, cannot work legally,” said Luz Gallegos, the executive director of the Director Center. TODEC legal
According to TODEC Executive Director Luz Gallegos, the details of the program are still being finalized.
But youth corps participants typically volunteer to help communities address food insecurity, climate change and COVID-19 recovery. And they earn between $15.50 and $30 an hour.
“It’s actually voluntary work, but they gain skills that will help them in their future, so they can already have this experience when they leave university and, God willing, we get a chance so that they can have one Getting a work permit,” Gallegos said. .
Rosa says she wants nothing more than to contribute to her Coachella Valley community.
“When I complete all of my studies, I want to focus on an organization like TODEC that helps the entire community and leaves no one behind.”
It is not yet known when the program will start.
But TODEC’s Gallegos says they are working closely with the state to implement the program here in the Coachella Valley and across the state AND that they will let the community know once young people are able to sign up.