Santa Fe Dreamers Project – The New American Dreamers.
Photo and interview by Kerry Sherck
I was never really interested in studying law. When I was a kid I was always asked what I wanted to do, and I never knew what to pick. Even here in the community college I was just taking basic classes, not sure what to do… Then one day, I realized that’s what I wanted to study because law is super important, and the people who need it the most are the broke, poor people. Once I learned more about it, I fell in love with it, with the subject itself, you know, learning about how law works, the process.
My dad, he used to work an entire week in a factory and make $40-50 for a week’s worth of work, so it wasn’t exactly an easy living… He worked his way up from being the guy at the front of Home Depot to eventually being able to work as a low-level carpenter in a construction company. Then he went up from there, climbing his way through every job to where he is now —a construction engineer in a company. He always just told me, “work hard, don’t get into too much trouble.”
I don’t really care about graduating as much as I care about what it means. It means the transition to a job where I won’t have to keep fixing asphalt or painting parking lots anymore. That’s what I look forward to the most. I won’t have to break my back to make a decent amount.
Through my dad I think the American Dream is still possible, honestly. It’s a one in a thousand chance, but all you need is one, right? I’m willing to chase after it.
— Francisco, 23
The New American Dreamers highlights the stories of some of the incredible Dreamers in our community. Created by photographers Sylvia Johnson and Kerry Sherck, and produced in partnership with the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, The New American Dreamers is a positive reframe of who many of the immigrants living in our community are. Their stories reflect the dreams, hopes, challenges, and ambitions that are inherent to all of us as human beings. In the context of such a toxic narrative currently being perpetuated about immigrants in this country, our goal with this project is to flip the perspective through stories of incredible Dreamers who are our friends, clients, and neighbors.
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