My name is Ubaldo Franco, a Dreamer, an undocumented immigrant, currently residing in North Carolina. This year I graduated from high school, 6th in my class, with a GPA of 4.94. I have been accepted at UNC- Chapel Hill for the upcoming year, however being an undocumented immigrant raises many obstacles which my U.S. born classmates will never have to go through.
Having been raised here in the U.S. since the age of 4 I know no other place to call my home country, but due to not having been born on American soil I am unable to technically call this my home country. Around my middle school years I found out I was undocumented, this had no real meaning though, as I did not know how that differentiated with my peers. My high school years came and I was unable to get my driving permit because I had no social security at a time when all my classmates were beginning to drive. Soon I also learned that going to college would be a huge obstacle for someone like me.
My fascination for computers however, is the critical factor impacting my inclination toward receiving a college education. I received my first computer during 7th grade, and internet access the summer before my first year of high school. I became hooked to my computer after discovering the wide range of activities and possibilities the Internet and computers brought me. Since that day experimented in many different computer subjects, such as animation, networking, programming, and media manipulation. Due to my passion for computers I chose Phillip O Berry Academy of Technology as my home for my high school years, which allowed me to take the computer related courses I longed to take. As a freshman I took my first AP class as a challenge, and each year I added more, two sophomore year, four junior year, and five my senior year. These classes served as inspiration to do well in school and aim high for my future goals.
Once senior year came I began to face college applications. Being an undocumented student meant being classified as an international applicant, a category where admission rates was much lower than admission rates for U.S. resident applicants. Having visited UNC’s campus I wish to be able to call it my home next school year, after seeing its superb Computer Science Department, as well as the possibility that a bill will be passed in NC that would grant me the ability to pay in state tuition rather than out of state tuition. My hope is that in the near future students like myself will not have to fight such an uphill battle to access equal education in a country that we have called our home for so long. I hope North Carolina can come out and support instate tuition for students like myself, but until then, without your help, going to college may not be an obstacle I can face head on.