Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca found it hard to find money for college after graduating from North Hollywood High School in Southern California. She was brought to the state illegally from Mexico by her parents when she was 4, but following a free K-12 education, she faced paying tuition for college – something she said she could not afford.
That’s when Salamanca decided to find a way to help illegal aliens gain access to college scholarships, according to KQED, a public radio and television station in Northern California.
“Salamanca’s struggle to find money for college inspired her to create a scholarship network that undocumented students can tap into just by reaching into their pockets,” the KQED article posted on April 3 said. “The network comes in the form of an app called the DREAMer’s Roadmap and it will launch this month for iOS and Android.”
“After the app launches, users will be able to find and share scholarship information via text, email or social media,” the article said. “DREAMer’s Roadmap currently has 500 scholarships on its database.”
“It is going to be the roadmap to the road of the journey that we lead every day of uncertainty,” Salamanca told KQED. “This would be their guide to college.
“It will give them hope,” Salamanca said.
The app also has a map that tells illegal aliens which states allow them to pay in-state tuition and which states allow them to pay in-state tuition, plus have access to financial aid.
The article explained that Salamanca started the app after winning $100,000 in the Voto Latinos Innovator Challenge contest and also received $25,000 from an anonymous donor.
Salamanca is now, the article said, in the U.S. legally and has been honored by the Obama administration and Facebook.
“Salamanca now has her green card and plans to attend a four-year university this year,” the article said. “As an advocate for undocumented students’ rights, she was one of Forbes 30 Under 30: Education in 2016, was named a Champions of Change recipient by President Obama’s administration in 2014 and participated in the DREAMer Hackathon hosted by Mark Zuckerberg in 2013.”