Living the Dream: Impact of TheDream.US Scholarship on One Rowan University Student [VIDEO]

Rosa walks with two friends through campus.

“TheDream.US Scholarship impacted me as I’m the first one being in college in my family. I thought I couldn’t make it, but I am here now.”

Meet Rosa Martinez, a Dean’s List-level sophomore Human Services major from Mexico, currently living in Camden, NJ. Rosa is a recipient of the Dream Scholarship, which provides her with the opportunity to pursue a college education. According to their website, TheDream.US scholarships are for highly motivated undocumented students who want to get a college education but are unable to afford the cost. They have no access to federal aid, limited access to state aid, and they sometimes face paying out-of-state tuition. Learn more about all of Rowan University’s scholarship opportunities

Rosa stands surrounded by family after her high school graduation, wearing a golden yellow graduation gown.

Rosa first learned about the Dream Scholarship through her school counselor in high school. As a motivated student who wants to grow her career to better her life and the life of her family, Rosa knew she needed a college degree to reach her goals. She found out that she won the Dream Scholarship through an email notification while she was at the gym. She waited until she got home to share it with her family, and everyone was eternally grateful for this moment. Rosa shares, “I’m able to pursue a college degree without thinking that my undocumented status will affect me.”

Rosa wears a Rowan University shirt with bookcases behind her.

The Dream Scholarship partners with Rowan University, and it helps to cover tuition, room and board, meals and provides an additional stipend. For Rosa, this scholarship impacted her Rowan experience. Since she is an undocumented student, she says, “This scholarship has help contributed to a diverse and inclusive experience for me.” There are a lot of opportunities to get involved on campus, and Rosa was able to gain that experience, which makes her a more well-rounded student ready for the next phase of her life, and her career. 

Rosa hopes to inspire students to apply for college scholarships, and to push past that fear of potentially not getting them. With her degree in human services, Rosa strives to help people in need of assistance. She hopes to work in child welfare inside of schools, where professionals work with families and children in need to provide resources tailored for their specific situations. Her experiences in school have inspired her to pursue this career and to help undocumented youth, all while sharing her story.

This year’s applications for TheDream.US Scholarships are due February 29. 

Rosa studies with two friends in the library.

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Written by: Jordyn Dauter, junior double major in dance & elementary education