Undocumented Dreams, Achievable Reality: One College Student’s Story

Undocumented Dreams, Achievable Reality: One College Student’s Story

As untold numbers of Dreamers face uncertainty in the USA, this story should inspire them to have hope and never give up!

Goodykoontz Journalism

kevin-pena-by-pond-resized Kevin Pena, a Linn-Benton Community College student leader, spent his childhood as an undocumented immigrant in Albany, Ore. Photo by Elliot Pond

Kevin Yusif Peña Aceves thought he belonged in his hometown of Albany, Ore. Growing up, he enjoyed life as an American, playing high school sports, teasing his three younger brothers, and hanging out with his friends. He expected to earn a driver’s license, find a job, graduate high school and head to college with the rest of his classmates.  

But when Peña turned 16, his once-planned future dissolved.

Peña discovered he’d been living in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, he’d flown to the United States with his parents when he was just 4 years old. His three younger brothers had been born on U.S. soil, but he’d grown up sheltered from his own status.  

Peña couldn’t participate in any of…

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