DENVER (CBS4) – Marissa Molina, a Colorado woman who is a “dreamer,” never thought she’d get through school, let alone soar to the top of her profession. Now she’s making history as the first DACA recipient to serve on a Colorado state board.

(credit: CBS)

Molina serves on the Board of Trustees at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Gov. Jared Polis says state boards need to reflect the communities they serve and at Metro 25 percent of the student body is Latino. That’s the most of any university in the state. And many of those students are “dreamers” like Molina.

“When I think about the opportunity to sit on the board of Metro State University, I think about the message I’m sending to kids across the state of Colorado.”

Molina does an interview with CBS4 along with Gov. Jared Polis. (credit: CBS)

Molina is an against-all-odds kind of story. She was brought here from Mexico when she was 9 and qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Since then she has been both a teacher and state director of a national immigrant rights group.

“When we saw that nobody who was a DACA recipient had ever served on a board of one of our institutions of higher education we had to ask, ‘Can they (legally)?’ … and then with the amazing, impressive application that Marissa put forward, there was really no queston that of course we wanted to choose her to serve on Metro’s board,” Polis said.

(credit: CBS)

Polis says Molina has lived experience.

“I know what it’s like to struggle to pay for school,” she told CBS4. “I know what it’s like to be a DACA student and say DACA and say, like, ‘I only qualify for 10 out of the 50 scholarships.'”

She knows, too, how important it is to have someone on your side. For her, it was a high school counselor.

“When I told him I didn’t have a Social Security number, instead of saying ‘I’m sorry I can’t help you,’ he said ‘I don’t know what that means but I’m going to walk this journey with you and what I can guarantee is that you’ll never be alone, so when I think about why I’m in this chair today, I think about him,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

She thinks, too, about the director of admissions at Fort Lewis College who believed in her. But most of all, she thinks about her parents.

“I called my mom the day that I received the news and I said to her, ‘Remember six years ago when I sat in front of you and I told you that I was going drop out of school because didn’t have money to pay for it anymore?’ And I said ‘This is for you, because you didn’t give up on me and my dreams and you were willing to sacrifice to do whatever you could to get me here.'”

“And because you did that for me I’m going to make sure that there are 10 and 20 and 30 kids behind me who have someone who is going to fight for them like you fought for me.”

Molina says while she was lucky to have people who helped her get through college, students shouldn’t have to rely on luck. As a member of the Board of Trustees at Metro, she plans to put systems in place to give other students the same opportunity to get a higher education.

Comments (3)
  1. My immigration infomercial:

    SANCTUARY CITIES: What a place to start a family. Illegal aliens, gang members, felons fleeing ICE are your neighbors. Emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers pay for all hospital, emergency room treatments, ambulances, medications. Hospital wait times for citizens are negatively impacted.

    THE STAMPEDE:
    Its Trumps fault!!! LOL. Democrats offer rewards, incentives so…..More caravans on the way. The current migration at our border is costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don’t stay in Mexico when they reach “safety” or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars. Notice how many have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country 8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not only pay for the birth of you’re child but will also give you state government assistance.

    THE WALL:
    The Border Patrol, DHS, ICE our Military & the Army Corps of Engineers have all endorsed the need for a wall numerous times almost nightly. However, immigration experts Nancy Pelosi & Chuck Schumer disagree, saying the wall won’t work, oh and they also have zero ideas. I’ll go with the opinions of the border patrol not open borders crowd. Barrack Obama’s own border patrol chief, Mark Morgan, has repeatedly stated that walls work. They free up resources to focus on the points of entrances so they can detect more contraband and illegals. Check out the wall on youtube.

    TPS / DACA
    To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action For Childhood arrivals (DACA) are permanent programs….there is nothing “temporary or deferred.” These programs are designed to admit refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula works great.

    THE PRICE:
    Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable collateral damage to their future long range goals of flooding the country with refugees & illegal aliens and having taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat politicians and their voters have put families at risk of being victimized by illegal aliens as in the cases Kate Steinly (nothing done) then…. Mollie Tibbetts, (nothing done) and now, Police Cpl. Ronil Singh nothing will be done…who’s next? These victims would be alive today if our border was secured. Google search “illegal alien crime” or “victims.” try not to puke the list is unbelievable. Preventable victimization’s.

    Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has been passed on to us.

    *Congress is debating DACA and is costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Thank the parents and Barrack Obama.

    *Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. School class size are negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result.

    *Taxpayers in some states are funding “in state college tuition” discounts for illegal aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually.

    *About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, and more than 90 percent of those are in the United States illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal justice system.

    *Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808, which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

    * Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens in poverty in many cases wait years because of non citizens for housing.

    *$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches. Visit youtube search “cost of illegal immigration.”

    Thank you for reading.

  2. Michael Henebry says:

    Is she a US citizen now?

  3. Franks Gross says:

    how far has she gotten in the process of becoming a citizen? just curious…..

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