Colorado Mountain College offers Fund Sueños to support students
July 12, 2023 – New this July, Colorado Mountain College is offering a comprehensive program for undocumented students and those enrolled in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA.
Fund Sueños, a program created by philanthropic gifts to the CMC Foundation, is specifically designed to support these students and help them achieve academic success at CMC. Fund Sueños works alongside students from the beginning of their college experience by providing support every step of the way. The ultimate goal of the program is for these students to earn college certificates and degrees and graduate with the skills necessary to secure good, satisfying jobs throughout CMC’s mountain region.
“Undocumented students face unique challenges as they navigate the college landscape, carrying the weight of their immigration status on their shoulders,” said Yesenia Silva Estrada, executive director of strategic initiatives at CMC. “In the face of legal, financial and emotional obstacles, it is crucial that we extend unwavering support, through accessible resources, to ensure their success in college and beyond.”
Fund Sueños provides financial guidance and support to pay for college, introducing students to a wide range of financial support that is available to them. In addition, the program includes access to CMC Foundation scholarships designated for Fund Sueños students, intended to help students afford college, as well as financial assistance with DACA renewal fees. The program’s emphasis is also on community building, alumni engagement and establishing a network of students and staff for support. Fund Sueños guides students to services and support that are available to them at the college.
Guidance all along the way
To begin, students must apply to be a part of Fund Sueños. Counselors will make sure students are qualified to receive in-state tuition and in-state financial aid through a Colorado law called “Colorado’s Advancing Students for a Stronger Tomorrow,” or ASSET.
“Qualifying for ASSET will help our Fund Sueños’ students maximize their financial aid options, including institutional and state aid and grants,” said Silva Estrada.
Students will also receive career guidance to help them select a certificate or degree in a career field with needed jobs. Those career fields available for study at CMC include business/entrepreneurial skills; community and social services such as addictions counseling; health care such as nursing; culinary arts and hospitality; early childhood education; construction; and translation and interpretation. Mentors will be available to students to help guide them to success when selecting a career path.
Guidance in other areas will also be available to Fund Sueños’ students such as legal assistance, and opportunities to meet with other students and take part in experimental learning will be part of the program.
“Embracing and empowering undocumented students in our colleges is an investment in a brighter, more equitable future for our local communities,” said Silva Estrada. “By providing a nurturing environment that recognizes the unique challenges these students face, we not only expand access to knowledge and opportunity, but also cultivate a more diverse, inclusive and enriching educational experience for all.”
To donate to Fund Sueños, contact Kristin Heath Colon, vice president for advancement and foundation CEO, 970-947-8380.