Joel Sati, An Introduction.

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My name is Joel Sati, and I am undocumented. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya on June 3, 1993. At the age of nine, my family packed up and moved to the United States on October 24, 2002.

Right after my 17th birthday, my mother took me to the local DMV to get a learners’ permit. They told us we needed to provide proof of residency; we didn’t have it so we left. I didn’t know why we didn’t have it, so I asked my mother – she said nothing, and we left it at that. I didn’t know that I was undocumented until September 2010, while applying to college. There was that part of the application that asked for the SSN. A huge part of the depression that ensued was the fact that I had received this news at such an expectant time in my life, where I had just finished my formative education and was about to make headway into adulthood. I couldn’t look at a financial aid form, and my new f-bomb was “FAFSA.” Because of my status, I was unable to apply for merit-based scholarships. I had received offers from prestigious four year colleges, which I accepted, but due to the extremely high costs, I could not attend. I then enrolled in Montgomery College, A community college in Rockville, MD, where I graduated valedictorian. 


I am an American in every sense of the term. I have gone to school here; I have my diploma and my Associates degree. I have ambitions to pursue a career in academia and research. I am heavily involved in my community, having worked with CASA de Maryland among many organizations. Outside of all this, I am someone who has a deep love for Philosophy, writing, and the Atlanta Falcons. I am a son of a single mother, a brother, and an uncle. My personal motto is short – strive not to just attain knowledge, but to advance it.


The reasons I am behind efforts to pass the DREAM Act are not just limited to me. I know of so many young people around the country that have the skills and the intelligence to be successful citizens, but the current system precludes them from doing so. The author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said that “stereotypes are so not because they are incorrect, but because they are incomplete; they make one story become the only story.” This issue is not just a Hispanic issue; it is also an African issue, an Asian issue and most importantly, it is a human issue. I have come to learn that there is more than one face, more than one story to this struggle. I became an activist to stand for these who have given all of themselves for the betterment of their community. For a large part of my journey, I have had the rather incomplete mantra “If I only had the opportunity….” That’s what I always say to myself. I am sure that a lot of young men and women share my sentiment. I want to stand with the rest of the DREAMers and secure opportunities we have dreamed of having. It is my firm belief that if America refuses to legitimize those who could be integral to our recovery, then America is not living up to the creed of equal opportunity for all.


Joel C. Sati


Find me on Twitter @JoelCSati

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Nice to meet you Joel im Nancy I can understnd what you went thru because it relates to my story as well All we can do t this moment is keep pressuring for the Dream Act to pass nd congratsbon your merits nd continuing your education :)

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