In February 2019, Oglethorpe University became the first Georgia college to partner with TheDream.US to offer scholarships to qualified immigrant students who came to the U.S. as children. This partnership has helped to welcome DACA recipients and undocumented students to campus, and these students are an influential and proud part of the Oglethorpe community.
The Petrel community has continued to identify ways to support these students. The OU Monarchs, a new student organization, was created as a support system, community, and safe space for undocumented students at Oglethorpe, those currently enrolled and those to come.
“I initially had the idea of forming OU Monarchs after doing some work over the summer to create an ‘Oglethorpe 101’ sort of guide for a few undocumented students who were starting their collegiate journey,” said Founder and President Lidia Labrada ’23. “After that, I found myself thinking about my first year and the lack of an undocumented community on campus, and I wanted to help others by creating a safe space for fun, advocacy, service, leadership, and self-care opportunities.”
“I think it’s important to give undocumented students the space and tools to succeed and feel welcome. In creating OU Monarchs my wish, hope, and goal is to help undocumented students now and in the future continue to be unapologetic and unafraid.”
OU Monarchs recently launched an Instagram page to share educational resources, provide a window into the lives of an undocumented student, celebrate accomplishments of the “monarchs,” advertise events, and issue updates on impactful political decisions.
“We are so excited to be a part of Oglethorpe and can’t wait to get started!,” the Monarchs shared on their page. “If you’re an undocumented student interested in joining or have any questions, please DM us, email us, or fill out our form.”
In addition to this new organization, OU’s HUB for Enrollment Services has created online resources to help students with questions about DACA updates, internships, scholarships, legal support and more. The page includes a link to submit anonymous feedback, or students can connect directly with Peter Dye, assistant director of community and global engagement.
UndocuPetrels, a new Instagram page, serves as an another resource center for DACA recipients and undocumented students. Petrels and future Petrels can find information on scholarship opportunities, jobs and internships, mental health services, academic support, and more.
UndocuPetrels encourages students to connect: “This resource center will be a continual work-in-progress, but we are committed to progress. If you are an undocumented student in need of support or an ally that wants to know how to help, please reach out to us!”
A range of additional events, partnerships, and resources will be held this semester, including an undocumented student panel and an event with partner Freedom University on establishing an effective undocumented student working group on campus. Details about these events and future events can be found in OU Connect.