Updated at 12:24 p.m. to reflect a local Darien cause:
Jimmy Documet has spent most of his life here in the United States and graduated from Darien High School. Now he's been accepted into UConn but needs to pay the tuition.
While there are programs in the U.S. for legal residents to get scholarships and loans, that's very limited for undocumented residents -- also known as illegal aliens.
Whatever you think of the issue of what to do with illegal aliens in general, there's not necessarily a contradiction in helping someone raised in the United States who was too young to make the decision to come here, who is trying to succeed here and who may well become legalized under legislation now under consideration in Washington.
Darien Patch doesn't vouch for the accuracy of anything in Jimmy Documet's statement below (as published by GoFundMe). If you follow the link to his Web page there, you'll see on the right side some members of the Darien community who have already helped his cause, which has raised quite a bit of money but still hasn't reached the half-way mark for his goal.
He mentions that he's eligible to work legally in the United States, by the way.
Here's Jimmy Documet's statement on GoFundMe:
Hey everyone. My name is Jimmy
Documet and I am about to take a huge step in life: getting a college
I got accepted into UConn—Stamford and put all my eggs into that one
basket as I hoped to attend this great school. However, a couple of issues have
arisen and I have been struggling to figure out how to deal with them.
am an undocumented alien, I cannot apply or receive financial aid from FAFSA.
In other words, I have to pay for college tuition completely out-of-pocket.
My family and I moved to the United
States in 2005, because of the better opportunity of health care for my sister
who needed surgery for a severe scoliosis.
We permanently relocated ourselves
and consequently overstayed our visas. I just went along with the situation not
understanding it very well; I was only 9 years old at the time. Not long after
my sister's surgery my parents got divorced. During those years, we settled in
It was rough time in our lives; my mother was raising us a single
parent and worked three jobs in order to put food on our plates and to keep us
sheltered. My mom got remarried to my stepfather in 2009. Shortly thereafter,
we moved to Connecticut and my mother gave birth to twin boys.
My family and I
have been through a lot together. We have become stronger and much more unified
through the struggles we have experienced. I owe so much to my mother and
step-father, who have worked tirelessly in order to provide for us.
I’m reaching out to the community
because I have realized that I can’t just wait for a miracle to happen.
to act now if I want my situation to change. The tuition for UConn is about
$11,000 + (books and other fees). I was hoping I would be able to get enough
through scholarships and working, but I only have $4800 right now and as an
undocumented student I cannot receive any FAFSA based scholarships.
I do not
have citizenship or permanent residence for the United States, even though I
have spent half my life here. My family’s income is around $28,000 per year and
there are seven of us.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), my sister
and I have been given temporary working permits and social security numbers.
This has helped me in raising funds, but a college education is nearly unattainable
without federal aid.
I want to major in Sociology because
the contrasting places I have spent my life in have really impacted my
understanding of the world.
Before settling in Connecticut, I had moved twelve
times and gone to eight different schools. While we were still living in Peru,
my family was middle class. We were able to continue living in middle class
communities in the United States until my parents got divorced.
Because of the
divorce, my family and I had to move into a neighborhood that had a strong
presence of gang violence. Currently, I live in the suburbs of
Connecticut. I have lived in so many
different kinds of communities; I have experienced the greater part of the
Although my life has not been long lived as of yet, I have seen a lot. I’m hoping that through this major I will be able to help others and make this country a better place.
I’m planning on having a part-time
job throughout the year to help pay this year’s tuition and hopefully next
year’s as well. But I need the community’s help to make this happen. All I’m
asking for is any kind of donation so I can start my first semester without
worrying about how I’m going to pay for tuition. I sincerely thank you for
taking the time to read this.
For those in a charitable holiday mood today, we highlight some Darien and Stamford people who are asking for help.
Browse the local campaigns by GoFundMe above to find a campaign you're interested in: They may be next door, or working to help people on the other side of the world.
Unlike other crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe focuses more on helping people fund very personal goals. So in addition to traditional charitable causes, you may find someone who is asking for help financing a car payment or paying for a honeymoon.
GoFundMe is a Patch partner. If you would like to contact a fundraiser or flag a campaign, just click on the images above.
Do you know of a project in town that deserves funding? Let us know in the comments, in a blog post, or head over to GoFundMe.com to start one.