Santa Ana College dedicates scholarship for illegal immigrant students in memory of late immigration activist
Orange County Register
June 1, 2010
Santa Ana College will dedicate a scholarship for illegal immigrant students in memory of 27-year-old immigration activist Tam Ngoc Tran of Garden Grove, who was killed in a crash involving a suspected drunken driver in Maine on May 15.
The dedication will take place during a ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Tran and 26-year-old Cinthya Felix Perez of Los Angeles were both killed in the crash. The friends were active members of the DREAM Act immigration reform movement, which aims to allow students who are in the country illegally the chance to apply for legal permanent residency, protect them from deportation and make them eligible for student loans and federal work-study programs.
Tran, who was pursuing a doctorate in Brown University in Rhode Island , was herself an illegal immigrant in pursuit of U.S. citizenship. She was a student at Santa Ana College before transferring to UCLA.
The scholarship would lack meaning if the student selected for the award were not taking the same path to citizenship as Tran, said Sara Lundquist, vice president of Student Affairs at Santa Ana. So, for example, an international student with a student visa will not qualify for this scholarship, she said.
"Tam dedicated her time and energy advocating for children of undocumented immigrants who were brought into this country and grew up as Americans, but are not even permanent residents," Lundquist said.
The college is creating a $2,500 matching scholarship in Tran's name and is hoping that more people come forward with donations to add to it.