Navigating money doesn’t look the same for everyone. Being a DACA recipient has certain considerations that are non-existent for others. Not everyone has the same opportunities, but all of us have the opportunity to work hard for what we want. For example, today you are going to hear about a DACA recipient shares with us her financial journey and how she is taking us along for the ride.
Jen shares how she found out she was undocumented, and some of the challenges she overcame to became financially stable. She also shares a valuable piece of advice for all DACA recipients.
What you’ll learn about in today’s episode:
- The story behind the penny collection and what it taught her
- What happened as she was applying for college which was a huge turning point in her life
- DACA individuals and financial considerations no one thinks about
- Her best dinero tip to navigate DACA
Jen’s Money Story
Jen’s first money memory was at the age of 9 when her father lost his job as a construction worker. This marked the beginning of financial troubles for her family. As a “family game” they collected pennies, and she remembers that her parents made her older sister and her go to the grocery store and pay for the groceries with the collection of pennies. Not much later she realized that her family was having serious money problems. Jen noticed that once the groceries were gone, they had to ask for church help to survive. The money problems, unfortunately, led to her parents separation.
After her father left, Jen’s mother started working as a nanny and housekeeper, which meant long work hours and barely seeing their mom. With all the hard work, her mom was able to give them a stable financial life down the line.
Being Undocumented Does Not Define Your Financial Status
Jen was a pretty good student and was on her way to being valedictorian. She grew up being told the importance of education and how it was the key to a better life. In the process of applying for a scholarship to go to college, she asked her mom for her social security number and discovered that she didn’t have one due to being undocumented. Jen felt completely devastated with the idea of not being able to get a scholarship and go to college because she had worked so hard to be a good student and follow the guidance she was taught on education being the key to a better life. After her graduation, she dedicated her time to saving for college and helping her family financially by working as a babysitter.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) came out in 2012, a program that does not grant an official legal status or a pathway to citizenship but does allow to apply for a driver’s license, social security number, and a work permit. She realized the great opportunity in front of her. Once Jen and her family learned more about it and decided it was something they wanted to do, they got to work on figuring out all the costs. Her mom had only enough money for one application, and they needed 2 total. This put her mom in the predicament of choosing between picking one daughter or have both of them wait. They decided to wait and today, Jen is a DACA recipient.
Best Tip For A DACA Recipient
For Jen, the key to navigating DACA is being willing to be open about your status and finding communities that will support you and will lead you to the right resources.
Resources From This Episode:
Jen on Instagram: @dacagirlsavingdollas
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P.S. ¡GRACIAS por escuchar! THANKS for listening!
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The post, How to Navigate Money Being a DACA Recipient | HDM 261 appeared first on the Her Dinero Matters Podcast.