Cañada College Broadcast Journalism Major, Sarahi Espinoza, was named one of 10 DACA recipients of the Champions of Change award by the Obama administration.
Espinosa was brought to the United States from Mexico by her parents when she was just four-years-old. She moved back and forth between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, living with relatives and friends. It was a difficult transition and her father eventually moved back to Mexico. When she turned 16, Espinosa’s mother left for Mexico, but Espinosa remained behind to live with her brother’s family and finish high school at North Hollywood High School. After graduating from high school in 2008, Espinosa moved back to the Bay Area to live with a sister in East Palo Alto. She worked as a babysitter and registered for classes at Foothill College as an AB540 student. That spring she learned that her dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Her mother was caring for him, but they did not have enough money to pay their bills. Espinosa dropped out of school and began babysitting full time to send money to her parents.
In 2011, her father passed away. At that point, she was determined to go back to school to earn her college degree. She learned about Redwood City's Cañada College from Educators for Faire Consideration (E4FC) and was told to contact Adriana Fernandez, a student at Cañada, who put her in touch with Margie Carrington and Trish Guerrara.
She applied for DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status in 2012. As one of 600,000 recipients, Espinoza became eligible to get a driver's license and a job. She now works for the Girl Scouts of Northern California and teaches in environmental science and technology programs.
After enrolling at Cañada College, Sarahi taught herself how to program so she could build a website (www.sarahi.tv) to educate other DACA recipients about scholarship opportunities. (DACA recipients are given a 2-year deportation deferment.) It was this website that got the attention of the White House.
ABC7 News broadcast live from the campus with a story on Sarahi.