Santa Barbara City College Opens Dream Center for Undocumented Students

New Center Hosted Grand Opening to Celebrate Undocumented Student Week of Action

SBCC Coordinator of Equity, Diversity and Cultural Competency Dr. Roxane Byrne (left); and Dream Center Student Program Advisor Leslie Marin (right) celebrate the grand opening of the Dream Center. | Credit: Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College unveiled its new Dream Center this week, celebrating Undocumented Student Week of Action with a grand opening on Wednesday in the Campus Center.

The Dream Center will provide a space for undocumented students — or “dreamers,” those students eligible for state financial aid through the California Dream Act — to receive legal, academic, and financial assistance along with access to other resources and is part of SBCC’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Cultural Competency.

“Navigating college is a challenge for many students, and undocumented students face even more complex legal, academic, career, and life hurdles,” said Coordinator of Equity, Diversity, and Cultural Competency Roxane M. Byrne. “SBCC is committed to supporting undocumented students as they develop into the next generation of entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, artists, and leaders in our community.”

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During Undocumented Student Week of Action, the center hosted a number of events, including a night with award-winning television writer and author Rafael Agustin, who spoke with students on Tuesday about his experiences writing Illegally Yours: A Memoir, a funny autobiographical book about coming of age as a teenager and finding out he was actually undocumented. Agustin used his experiences to explore what it means to be “illegal” in America, and what that means to your personal and social identity.

At the grand opening on Wednesday, students were treated to live mariachi music, free food, and invited to paint traditional calaveras, or skull masks, for Día de Los Muertos. Students were also able to write letters of support to future “dreamers.”

The Dream Center will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located within the Center for Equity and Social Justice on SBCC’s main campus.

For more information, visit the Dream Center page on the SBCC website.

Award-winning television writer and author Rafael Agustin (Jane the Virgin) spoke about his book Illegally Yours: A Memoir with Dream Center Student Program Advisor Leslie Marin during an event for Undocumented Student Week of Action at the Dream Center. | Credit: Santa Barbara City College

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