Heartwarming Post Shares The Story Of A Teacher Who Earned The Right To Say 'I Told You So'

"I was ready to give up."

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an Obama-era initiative that has made it possible for nearly 800,000 undocumented children of immigrants to live, work, go to school, or serve in the American military without fear of deportation, but for one unidentified young woman the decision to apply to DACA didn't come easy. 

In a moving Instagram post from Humans of New York, the young woman, pictured below, recounts how a dedicated teacher named Ms. Rivera remained a constant source of encouragement and support throughout her formative years, and ultimately pushed her to make the life-changing decision to apply for DACA.



The post begins with the young woman explaining how Ms. Rivera re-routed a class field trip to Washington D.C. so she could attend, all because she didn't have the identification papers necessary to buy a plane ticket to fly there. "That trip changed my life. It made me want to be a lawyer," the woman explains. "And Ms. Rivera became one of the closest people in my life."

“I was on a leadership team in 5th grade. At the end of the year we were supposed to take a trip to Washington DC. We held fundraisers and everything. But when it was time to go, I didn’t have the identification papers to buy a plane ticket. So our teacher Ms. Rivera decided that we’d take a bus. Just so I could go too. That trip changed my life. It made me want to be a lawyer. And Ms. Rivera became one of the closest people in my life. She always kept in touch. She basically watched me grow up. One time in high school I got in a huge fight with my mom, and Ms. Rivera came and took me on a long car ride. I started to tell her everything. I told her about a recent break-up, and how I smoked weed, and ‘I did this,’ and ‘I did that.’ She just listened to everything. Then she started telling me about her life too. She told me that she’d been in an abusive relationship. I’d always thought her life was perfect because she was a guidance counselor. But she’d been through so much too. When it was came time to apply for college, Ms. Rivera was the one who helped me apply for DACA. She told me about the TheDream.us scholarship. I didn’t even want to apply. I was ready to give up. I’d just accepted that I’d always work in restaurants like my mom. But Ms. Rivera made me apply. She said: ‘What happened to that girl who wanted to be a lawyer?’ I learned that I got the scholarship in February. They're paying for my entire college. Ms. Rivera was so proud of me. She kept saying: ‘I told you so.’”

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According to the post, the pair stayed in touch throughout the years, and the young woman even turned to Ms. Rivera for support and guidance during a difficult growing period in her teens. "She just listened to everything," the young woman says of her former teacher.

"When it was came time to apply for college, Ms. Rivera was the one who helped me apply for DACA. She told me about the TheDream.us scholarship. I didn't even want to apply. I was ready to give up," the young woman admits, adding she'd resigned to the fact that she would "always work in restaurants" like her mother.

Fortunately, Ms. Rivera persisted. "But Ms. Rivera made me apply. She said: 'What happened to that girl who wanted to be a lawyer?'" the young woman recalls. "I learned that I got the scholarship in February. They're paying for my entire college. Ms. Rivera was so proud of me. She kept saying: 'I told you so.'"

While many people opposed to DACA — including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who formally announced the current administration's plan to rescind it earlier this month — feel the program is a way for non-citizens to live, work, and thrive in this country at no cost of their own, this post proves that by no means do DACA recipients have an easy path to success, and it is typically not a path they walk alone

As a myriad of other viral posts have shown, DACA recipients often work harder than most to get an education and obtain vital jobs because they are dedicated to enriching this country they have called home for years.

Though it's too soon to tell what will become of this young woman, it's easy to see she has already accomplished so much. And Ms. Rivera isn't the only one who believes she is destined to do great things. As one commenter wrote, "You're going to be a great lawyer, and a mentor to others, too."

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