Thursday, August 05, 2010

TCR: What folks can do when allowed

Immigrants Defied the Odds in Ivy League
Untold Number of Undocumented Students Seek Higher Education in U.S. Despite Costs
The full story here

Cinthya Felix and Tam Tran are undocumented immigrants who rose from the ranks of America's public education system to attend graduate schools in the Ivy League.

But perhaps more remarkable than their matriculation to two of the nation's finest private schools is that they pursued their expensive, self-financed degrees without any guarantee they'd lead to jobs in the country they called home.

Felix and Tran died in a tragic car accident in May, shortly after their interview with ABC News. But friends say the duo's desire to defy the odds lingers as an example of the immigrant spirit they say has gone largely unnoticed in American society.

"Their courage, their determination, their spirit were an inspiration to us all," said UCLA professor Kent Wong, who taught the two students as undergraduates.

Tran, an aspiring filmmaker, pursued a Ph.D. in American civilization at Brown University. Felix, who dreamed of being a doctor in her East Los Angeles community, was studying at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

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