Would you join us in supporting young Korean Americans in Virginia?
As you may know, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ramped up its enforcement activities over the last few months. Immigrant communities are living in real fear as we all hear daily reports of families being separated. In particular, those living in the Southern States such as undocumented Korean American youth that NAKASEC works with are facing greater challenges in their daily lives. Some of you have heard about the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program that grants temporary immigration relief to eligible young people so that they can attend school and work. In the state of Virginia unfortunately, DACA recipients must wait a full year before receiving in-state tuition benefits.
What we take for granted such as the ability to earn a living wage, go to school, eat three meals, or have a bed to sleep on has always been difficult for undocumented immigrants. Under the new administration, these hardships have increased dramatically. This is unacceptable. What young people in our community need now, more than ever, is a demonstration of our confidence in them — that they have the potential and right to achieve their dreams.
Currently, NAKASEC and our Southern California affiliate, the Korean Resource Center run a Youth Development Program called “From Root to Fruit.” It consists of the following components:
- Self and cultural awareness activities such as Modern Korean history, Asian American history, Poongmul
- Critical socio-political education that grounds young people with an understanding of the current political climate.
- Higher education and vocational preparation support such internships, skills trainings, and volunteer opportunities.
- Mental and emotional well-being services such as self care, counseling, and a mentorship program
- Financial support in the form of scholarships and, where necessary, temporary assistance with food and housing.
- Organizing training from learning how to coordinate a signature drive and set up legislative visits to mobilize their peers to speak out and take action.
Truth to be told, it costs $1,000 a month to support one youth in this program. Please commit a minimum of $20 a month (think of it as the equivalent of buying dinner for your own children once a month), so we can provide the learning opportunity for our youth to grow regardless of their immigration status. All donations are tax deductible.
In these political times, we have to confront hate with love and compassion. This is the time that we must reach inside ourselves and be more giving, more caring, and more thoughtful than we have ever been. We ask that you join us and become a sponsor of the program. Do what you can so that young Korean Americans may live the life that they, and all young people, deserve to live! Thank you so much for your support!