Defining What Matters

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Live Coverage of the Arrival of Valedictorian's Father

Kirssy Martinez gives new meaning to the term “non-traditional student.” She is the first official “Dreamer” to achieve that honor in the history of The City University of New York. The 27-year-old liberal arts major with a perfect 4.0 grade point average faced an extra obstacle in her path to becoming one of two Valedictorians who will address the May 29 commencement ceremony of Bronx Community College — a fear of being deported. She could only attend BCC after the Obama administration’s much-heralded plan to defer legal action against young people like Kirssy— “childhood arrivals” who are American in everything but their paperwork.

In the audience, as Kirssy receives her diploma, will be the father she has not seen since she left the Dominican Republic 13 years ago. The office of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer cleared away the red tape to make the reunion possible. Senator Schumer will address the graduates as well.

“Kirssy Martinez has realized a DREAMer’s dream by graduating from Bronx Community College as Valedictorian; and that’s due to both her hard work and President Obama’s DACA program, which helped bring Kirssy out of the shadows and into college. I know she has made her parents proud, and I’m thrilled that my office helped get her father here for the Commencement ceremony. Congratulations to Kirssy on everything she has accomplished, and I know that she will continue to make this nation proud!” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

 

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