Dulce

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“The best memory is just knowing that they have always been there, whether it’s at school or at home, because that support has meant everything,” said Dulce Jimenez, a Dreamer with the Casa Class, who is on track to graduate May 2013 from the Alexander Dawson School, a private K-12 school between the cities of Lafayette and Longmont.

 

Dulce was able to attend the Dawson through a scholarship program Dawson put in place with “I Have a Dream.” She believes that the education she has received has been invaluable. She takes AP classes and participates on the Varsity soccer and basketball teams, and she is also a member of the multi-cultural club. She has already been accepted to Metropolitan State University in Denver and is waiting to hear back from her first choice, Lawrence University in Wisconsin. Having cultivated a fascination with Asia over the past few years, she plans to pursue a degree in East Asian studies.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the next four years of my life,” she said. 

Dulce attended Indian Peaks Elementary School and Sunset Middle School in Longmont, and has lived in the area her whole life. She first became a Dreamer at the age of 6, when she was in first grade. She says that though she was somewhat unfamiliar at the time with “I Have a Dream,” she remembers being extremely excited about the opportunity and how special it felt. During her elementary and middle school years, Dulce has fond memories of the program, especially the activities she was able to participate in outside of the classroom – everything from Zumba and hip-hop dance classes to doing community service for those in need in the Longmont area. When asked about her most rewarding experience, Dulce said, “Doing the community service helped to show me that there are things we can do outside the classroom to help people in the community,” which was a “fun, eye-opening experience and very important” to her.

Casa-Dreamers-Bolder-BoulderInside the classroom, she enthusiastically mentioned all the different kinds of resources she was provided by “I Have a Dream,” like tutoring in math, other homework help, and the rewards they received for doing well in school. One of these rewards, her first trip to Water World with her fellow dreamers, sticks out in her mind as one of her favorite early memories.

The “I Have a Dream” mentoring program has also influenced her life as well. Her mentor, Caitlyn DeCock, actually started off as her math tutor and developed such a good relationship with Dulce that she transitioned into a role as her mentor. They have taken trips to musicals and plays, as well as to museums—trips that have helped ignite Dulce’s passion for art. They are something she will “never forget.”

More recently, Dulce has visited and explored a variety of colleges and universities with help from “I Have a Dream’s” College and Career Department. She believes that the visits, as well as a job shadow that she was able to do with a lawyer, have been a huge help in providing her with direction in regards to the kind of university she is interested in attending (size, location, programs, courses of study, etc.). The college and career department has also assisted her with admission applications and essays, scholarship information, and course planning. The college coordinators, she said, have “made all the difference in being able to navigate the [college admissions] process” and helped her get excited about the next chapter in her life.

Casa-Girls-MLK-2013She describes “I Have a Dream” as “Family” in one word and encourages the younger Dreamers to “keep going and keep trying and pushing to achieve their dreams because at the end of the day all their hard work will pay off. They’ll be smiling, and they will be happy.” She hopes that her excitement about the future, whatever it may bring, can provide some inspiration to others like her, both in her community and beyond.