What started as an ordinary day in high school ended up changing the rest of Antonio Marquez’s life. He found out he was undocumented and had to reconsider his dreams of attending a four-year university.
“I don’t know where I’m from, or where I belong,” he said.
Even though his plans changed, his goals did not. Marquez, a DACA recipient, became a journalist 18 years after being told he couldn’t do it.
He became the president of Education without Borders and the vice president of NAHJ’s San Diego State University chapter.
But he does not know what will happen next. He wonders what will happen with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in the current political climate.
“It’s draining not knowing if I’m gonna wake up and everything’s gonna be taken away from me,” he said.
Despite the unknown, Marquez strives to help other undocumented students who feel lost, just like he once did.
He mentors first-generation students through the Educational Opportunity Program. He inspires undocumented people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community through his work with Beto Soto’s Undocuqueer project. He gives a voice to “Dreamers” through his radio show, KCR’s “The Dreamer Hour.”
In December, Marquez will graduate from SDSU, his dream university.
His plans changed after an ordinary day in high school. He was told he couldn’t do it. But then, he did it.
Diane López Olea is a graduate of San Diego State University. As a student, she was the president of her university’s NAHJ chapter, wrote for The Daily Aztec in Spanish and English and worked as an assistant producer intern at Univision San Diego. Reach her at dlopezolea [at] gmail [dot] com and on Twitter @dianelopezolea.