top of page

Scholarships For The Undocumented

by David Burgoa


Hello everyone.  My name is David Burgoa and I am a LaGuardia Community College alumnus. With my mother, I came to the United States 5 years ago with the only idea of achieving the American Dream. Unfortunately, my tourist visa expired.  After losing my status and becoming one more undocumented youth in this country, I decided not to give up, and instead to fight for my education.​


Not being able to receive financial aid became my biggest obstacle, but I did not let that stop me

from achieving my goals. One of my mentors at The Door (a non-profit) helped me find this list of scholarships for undocumented youth regardless of our status.  We all, as individuals, deserve an education.​


Throughout my struggles, the following words by Frederick Douglass have encouraged and inspired me: “Without education he lives within the narrow, dark and grimy walls of ignorance.…  Education, on the other hand, means emancipation. It means light and liberty.  It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by 

which men can only be made free. To deny education to any people is one of the greatest crimes against human nature. It is easy to deny them the means of freedom and the rightful pursuit of happiness and to defeat the very end of their being.”


By getting the education we all deserve, we will break the barriers that our legal status has built around us. This way, one day, we can all be free to pursuit our dreams, which is a right we have as human beings.


Click here to access MALDEF's Scholarship Guide for Undocumented Students 2020 - 2021


David is now a Skadden Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies Scholar at CCNY.

bottom of page