Position: Communications Co-Director
Education: B.S. Mechanical Engineering
About me: My name is Dario Andrade Mendoza. I was born in Hermosillo Sonora Mexico and I’m currently 23 years old. I moved to Tucson Arizona with my family in 2003 and have lived here ever since. I completed elementary, middle, and high school here in AZ. I graduated from Tucson High Magnet School in May of 2012 as part of the top 25 academic standing students in my graduating class. Before graduation, I was struck with the reality of my situation as an undocumented student. Due to Prop 300 in Arizona, I was forced to pay non-resident tuition at public universities and colleges. I was also restricted from receiving any sort of financial assistance for school from the institution or the state. I was essentially priced out of school, which I wanted to attend. I felt defeated and was about to leave the state, but I decided to attend a ScholarshipsA-Z meeting. In this meeting, I noticed that SA-Z was composed of people my age that has found themselves in a very similar situation. The difference between that group and myself was that they were trying to do something about their situation and trying to make higher education more accessible for all students regardless of immigration status. I decided to join ScholarshipsA-Z and have found myself occupying leadership positions. I started off by presenting to the various groups about the lack of access to higher education for undocumented students. Throughout the last three years, I’ve helped plan DACA clinics, retreats, presentations, press conferences, fundraisers, and workshops. I was privileged enough to qualify for DACA and to work with the ScholarshipsA-Z team to push for In-state tuition at the state universities. After 2 years of work, SA-Z (with the help of other AZ organizations) won in-state tuition for DACA recipients at the state universities. This victory occurred on March 7th, 2015. The reality is that the SA-Z students that are planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree are still priced out of school. Even though we did lots of the work for this victory we cannot afford to go to school for the 2 years we have left. The universities and the state do not provide any sort of financial assistance to DACA students. I cannot own this victory due to the pricing. This is where you come in. We live in a state where we continue to be ignored and I need you to show the support the state hasn’t. Help me finish my undergraduate career as a Mechanical Engineer.