KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 20, 2010 —Despite preparing for rigorous final exams, writing lengthy final papers, and wrapping up extracurricular activities, Donnelly student Miro Heyink has found time to follow his passion of raising awareness about something he truly believes in: the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.
Heyink, along with Donnelly alum Yahaira Carrillo and other members of the Kansas and Missouri Dream Alliance (KS/MODA), is leading a presentation titled, "Donnelly Dreams: Students Fighting for Justice," focusing on the DREAM Act at 10:40 a.m., Thursday, April 22, on Donnelly's campus on the second floor.
The presentation will discuss specifics about the DREAM Act, showcase a few personal student stories, and provide ways for attendees to get involved.
The DREAM Act is a bipartisan legislation pioneered by Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., that looks to assist more than 65,000 undocumented high-school graduates each year who can not continue their education.
“These students are those that came into the United States when they were newborn to five years old – an age where the choice is not their own,” said Heyink. “They go through the school system, but soon find that they can not expect to receive financial aid or scholarships to continue into a college education. To make matters worse, these students are under a constant threat of deportation.”
Under the DREAM Act, qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a six- year conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.
Heyink, who has dual citizenship in the United States and his home country of Germany, has seen his personal dream come true when he was given residency in the U.S.
"My dream was to receive an education in the U.S., and I believe everyone has the right to be educated," said Heyink. "People often say students today are the future but we are also the present and that's the reality. It is very important for college students to understand that generations of the future are depending on them to make a difference and help them have the opportunity to go to college."
In addition to gathering for presentations like these, KS/MODA meets every Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Rockhurst University Community Center.
For information on other upcoming events at Donnelly College, visit www.donnelly.edu.