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'I am the American dream': An undocumented student says a scholarship makes it all worth it

The freshman at College of Saint Mary says she wants to be an attorney
Posted at 7:31 PM, Nov 14, 2023
  • Deadline is Feb. 29, 2024
  • College of Saint Mary is the only school to partner with the Dream.US
  • Awards are up to $33,000 for a bachelor's degree.
  • Undocumented students with or without DACA and or TPS are eligible for the scholarship if:
    • They moved before the age of 16.
    • They have lived in the U.S. since Nov. 1, 2017
    • They intend or are enrolled at CSM.


The hurdles in college can include debt and homework overload.

But for undocumented students at the College of Saint Mary (CMS) it's different.

I'm Maria Osnaya your South Omaha reporter. Today I traveled to College of Saint Mary where they want students to know there's a scholarship they can apply for with confidence.

The school has partnered with the organization "Dream.US."

The college wants to help young women with or without DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or TPS, Temporary Protected Status from the government.

The scholarship made a difference for this freshman. She didn't want her face or real name used because of her immigration status. She is from Nebraska.

"I want to be an attorney or get into politics," says the freshman.

She is just one of four applicants.

College of Saint Mary member Katty Petak says fear keeps some from applying.

"Based off the people I have met, sometimes it's the fear, what if I put my name on a piece of paper when I'm undocumented, am I putting name at risk," says Petak.

Petak wants to remind parents to trust them.

Petak adds, "Their daughters are not going to be at risk, their daughters are going to be fine, that we're going to provide them the resources whether that is in the classroom or outside the classroom."

The student we talked to says she's doing well.

"It's all worth it, because you know like I'm in school...I am the American dream," she says.

College of Saint Mary is the only school in Nebraska to partner with the Dream.US.

Nebraska students can apply before the end of February.

For more information visit the CSM website.

In Omaha, Maria Osnaya, 3 news now.