U-Lead Athens, an EJC sponsored project, aims to empower immigrant youth towards higher education.
U-Lead Athens – Goals and History
In August 2014 U-Lead Athens opened its doors with one goal, to empower youth to gain what the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is choosing to deny to many young immigrants: access to post-secondary education.
Un(der)documented students are banned from UGA and four other Georgia universities, and they must pay international rates (four times in-state tuition) at all other Georgia institutions of higher education including community colleges.
U-Lead Athens is, in our students’ words, United, Unafraid, Undefeated, Unstoppable Leaders. Students, and/or their parents, are also undocumented or under-documented immigrants. Every Thursday night Clarke County high school students and recent graduates who have lived in the US most of their lives gather to work with volunteer mentors: spectacular students with UGA’s Undocumented Student Alliance (USA), faculty from UGA and CCSD, and community members. The Oconee Street United Methodist Church donates the space. Students identify and apply for colleges that will accept students with varying immigration statuses, prepare for standardized tests, and search and apply for scholarships. They are working to become lawyers, teachers, doctors, psychologists; they have expertise in music, art, multiple languages, and public speaking. Several are also strong immigration rights activists who are now fighting to get SB 44 approved and SB 6 repealed.
U-Lead Athens in Numbers
• 15 students took SAT/ACT exams; everybody re-taking them increased scores
• 1 student began classes at UNG this Spring
• 9 students received letters of admissions from universities including Berea, Oglethorpe, UNG, Brenau, Young Harris, Furman (and we are waiting to hear from more)
• 1 student has received a full scholarship; 3 students received half scholarships and are waiting to hear from other financial aid sources
• 9 students have spoken at public events about immigration rights
• 2 students and 1 teacher testified at the State Capitol about the benefits of in-state tuition for DACA holders during the SB 44 hearing (click here to sign a petition in favor of SB 44 and here to see more pictures of the hearing)
• Donations: one printer/scanner, 30 SAT/ACT books, dinners from local restaurants and volunteers
• Cash donations supported: half tuition for one student, college housing deposit, SAT/ACT applications fees and scores submissions, college application fees
• Sadly, 2 students had to drop out of GA colleges due to exorbitant international tuition
You can help
We invite you to help support our ambitious and determined students. All donations are tax deductible thanks to Athens Economic Justice Coalition’s fiscal sponsorship. Your contribution will help our students pay college fees and tuition, buy textbooks, and defray living expenses. And now, thanks to the generosity of Athens artist Jamie Calkin and the printing services of Robert Lowery, we offer a Lift the Ban print inspired by our students’ struggle for access to college.
Donate $35-$50, receive Jamie Calkin’s 9×12 Lift the Ban print!
Donate $55-$80, receive Jamie Calkin’s 9×12 Lift the Ban print + 5 notecards with The Patterns She Sees courtesy of local artist and undocumented student Alejandro Galeana Salinas
Donate $85 or more, receive Jamie Calkin’s 16×20 Lift the Ban print + 5 notecards with The Patterns She Sees by Alejandro Galeana Salinas
Donate via Paypal or mail check to U-Lead Athens, 130 Hope Avenue, Athens GA 30606(please include a note with information on where you want us to send your print)
Become a monthly donor of $12 or more for 3 months and you’ll get your 9×12 Lift the Banprint!
Questions?Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org