Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York
My name is Mateo Tabares, I am 18 years old and I came from Colombia in 2010. My parents and I migrated to the United States hoping to achieve the American Dream - to have a better economic status and obtain a higher education. However, accomplishing this goal has become very difficult because my father has gone back to Colombia. I have not seen him in 4 years.
My mother and I are alone in this country and for the past four years, we have both been undocumented. Through the struggle, I was able to graduate from an International High School, which is a network of schools that accept students that have been in the country for less than 4 years.
Then I went to La Guardia Community College for my freshman year and in the fall of 2013, I transferred to Hunter College. I want to continue my path as a Political Science major, in hopes of one day becoming a lawyer to help out my community. Since I came to the country I became active with Make the Road NY, a community organization fighting for immigrant’s rights. There I help to lead our NYS DREAM Act campaign and youth work.
There are some things that are great about living in this country and there are some that are not. In the one hand I can finally identify like I feel. I can be an undocu-transmale and all my closest circles support me for who I am. My mom has always been my biggest hero and supports me just the way I am but right now I can only see my mother three to four times a month because she is working as a home health-aid overnight from Monday through Sunday. She does this in order to pay our rent, buy food, and save money for me to attend college. Unfortunately, traveling to Colombia is something we cannot afford.
I am looking forward to finally going back to Colombia after so many years ago - to see my grandmother and my father and to experience my hometown and native country for the first time as a transmale. I hope to obtain my green card in the next few weeks, finally giving me status and enabling me to travel to Colombia.
My inspiration has always been my mother, Maria Elena Guerrero. She is a warrior, mother, father and a best friend and is because of her that I fight for an immigration reform for 11 million Undocumented Americans. Together we chant proudly: "Undocumented and Unafraid, Queer and Unashamed."
3/17/14: MATEO'S FLIGHT IS FUNDED!
MATEO'S FLIGHT CREW
Elizabeth Ott & Megan Baier
Liz & Megan are thrilled to be able to help send Mateo to Colombia to reunite with his father after 4 years of not seeing one another. The love and support that Mateo's mother has shown him really touched Liz and Megan, as their parents' love and support of their relationship has also been extremely uplifting. The couple connected with Mateo's family's plight for the "American Dream" and they believe that as part of this dream, everyone should be able to see their loved ones.
Liz is currently a Programming Strategy Analyst at YouTube and holds her BA and MA from Stanford University and her MBA from The Kellogg School of Management. Megan is an attorney at Ropes & Gray LLP and is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and has her JD from the University of Michigan. Liz & Megan were married in Chicago in May of 2012 and currently reside in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. Both enjoy cooking, exploring new restaurants and stores, reading books and Megan enjoys taking the trips that Liz dutifully plans.
LIZ & MEGAN HAVE DONATED $350 AND ARE FUNDRAISING $350 TO SEND MATEO TO COLOMBIA
Fundraising update 3/17/14: THIS TRIP IS FUNDED! Waa hooo!