My name is Melissa Gonzalez Hernandez and I am #indomitable

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I’m proud to say that I was born in the beautiful state of Veracruz, Mexico. My parents moved to The U.S. in 1998 and although it sounds cliché, they moved us here to give us a better life. My brother was seven years old and I was two. My parents have always instilled in us our culture and for that I am extremely grateful. I’ve grown up in a country of dreams and opportunities but never forgetting where I come from. Had it not been for that, I wouldn’t have the attributes that I do today, which have helped me succeed. I remember the tears of joy that I shed on June 15, 2012, thinking about all the new doors that were opening for me. I was eager to start working and earning my own things. I wanted to have an income so that I could pay my own bills and be able to help my parents. I started working in January of 2013 so that I could pay my own car and start saving up for college. I graduated from Johnston County Middle College High School in 2014 with college credits in Office Administration as well as Interpretation/Translation. I then transferred to Wake Technical Community College where I began studying Business Administration. I have never been able to study full time due to the difficulty of having to pay almost three times what in-state tuition students pay, even though I have been here for 19 years. However, that’s not something that is stopping me, but instead makes me want to work ten times harder. In 2015, I started working part-time with an attorney, and continued serving at my first job while going to school. Shortly after, it was time to renew my DACA and employment authorization card, but in the process of it being mailed to my house, the last envelope that held my employment authorization card was lost. I spent weeks knocking door to door hoping that maybe it had been placed at the wrong address, knowing that the deadline for proof of valid authorization to work at my job was coming up. For me to obtain another employment authorization card, I was required to pay the total filing fee once again, and I simply could not afford it because I had just paid for my fall tuition. I spent two months going everywhere, determined that someone would still employ me, and I was able to get three jobs. I worked seven days a week and went to school three times a week. My employers worked with me so that I could go to work those three jobs from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. and sometimes even later, on the days that I didn’t go to school. Six months later, I woke up one day and couldn’t get up because I couldn’t move. I drove myself to the hospital with my mother by my side, where they told that I had an internal cyst the size of an orange, and it had to be taken out immediately in an emergency surgery due to the excessive physical work I was putting on my body. I was on bed rest for a month, with the help of at-home nurses. I had to slow down and start from scratch after recovery. Since then, I continued working and was able to obtain a position with an amazing defense attorney. I have found what I want to do for the rest of my life, and am now in the Paralegal program at Johnston Community College where I attend evening classes. At home, I have my parents, my older brother who is also a Dreamer, my nine-year-old little brother, and my three-month-old daughter; two of those whom are citizens. I can’t imagine having to start all over in a country that I do not know. Nor could I live without my brother or my daughter because they are a part of this country and I am not. It would be unfair for us to take away the wonderful education that this country can offer them, because my parents made a mistake when they were thinking about our future and well-being. My parents have sacrificed so much for us, like coming to an unfamiliar country because they heard this was the best, and not seeing their parents and family for over two decades, almost. I plan on doing big things with my life, for myself, and for my family, but unfortunately, without DACA, I cannot.

-Melissa Gonzalez

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