As the daughter of immigrants, Dahyana Flores has found her passion learning the stories and fighting for the rights of marginalized populations — particularly refugees and immigrants. She grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin in a tight-knit Latinx community that influenced her values and instilled a deep sense of pride in her heritage. At St. Norbert College, she is involved in Multicultural Student Services as a peer mentor as well as the Latinx Student Union (LSU) and the Black Student Union. Through the LSU she works with her peers to cultivate understanding and tolerance within the majority population by increasing awareness of Latinx culture, history and community. Dahyana hopes that through the LSU, the campus culture can become more inclusive and culturally diverse. Most recently Dahyana has focused on using her voice to highlight the importance of DACA and supporting Dreamers living in uncertainty across the country. Next year, Dahyana plans to study abroad and travel to various immigration sites, to hear immigrants’ stories first-hand and obtain a deeper understanding of her role in creating change. Dahyana remains optimistic that through collaborative efforts and community organizing, positive change is on the horizon.
As a child, I grew up hearing stories of neighbors, friends, and even family members who were suddenly deported and separated from their families. As the daughter of undocumented parents, I feared that one day I would come home to find my family severed in the same sudden, painful way. As I got older, I realized that I was not alone. Millions of families in the United States are living in this same state of uncertainty and fear. My passion for immigration reform and social justice stems from these experiences and the struggles and pain I continue to see in my own family and community. I am currently working on starting a support group for young adults who are undocumented, DACA recipients, or members of mixed-status families. My goal is to establish a safe space for these individuals to feel supported and have their voices heard. I will not let fear silence me, and I hope to inspire others to become voices of change.