French Montana launches education campaign for DACA Dreamers

Rapper French Montana announced Thursday that he has partnered with MTV and the education nonprofit Get Schooled to help DACA Dreamers pursue higher education.

He’s calling the project We Are the Dream, and he describes it as a multi-platform campaign to “amplify resources for undocumented youth seeking higher education.”

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an Obama-era policy that helps individuals who entered the country as minors work toward permanent U.S. citizenship. Some 800,000 people are registered in the program, which is at risk of losing funding after President Donald Trump rescinded it last year and the Senate failed to include it in a recent immigration bill. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi gave an 8-hour speech to the House earlier this month to raise awareness about the program’s precarious position, and a deal was reportedly reached on the bill just this week, though DACA’s fate under that deal remains unclear.

Now more than ever, advocating for young immigrants is close to Morocco-born French Montana’s heart. In a PSA released Thursday, the “Unforgettable” rapper explained that his We Are the Dream campaign aims to help high school and college-aged undocumented students access higher education. It’s a path that only 5 to 10 percent of undocumented students graduating high school pursue—and Montana is looking to boost those numbers:

The college application process can be daunting for any student, but especially for undocumented youth, who typically cannot access federal aid for financial assistance. We Are the Dream’s mission is to streamline the resources that are available to help these kids put together an education plan. Step one in that process was the organization launching a digital hub, packed with resources for undocumented students and their families. The site includes information on scholarships and sanctuary colleges as well as personal stories from other Dreamers, and it will also host a Twitter chat Feb. 20 with experts in higher education and immigration. Students also have the option to text “college” to 335577 to talk with counselors for further advice.

Montana will be working as the face of We Are the Dream’s social media campaign, encouraging people to post selfies and tag them #WeAreTheDream to “spread awareness and stand in solidarity with the belief that everyone should be able to go to college.”

“I am one of tens of thousands of first- and second-generation immigrants that are having a significant positive impact on the United States. We are the Dream,” Montana said in a statement. “I am excited to lead others in this fight to ensure Dreamers connect with support they need to get to college and make their American Dream come true.”

Get Schooled is also offering a handful of $1,000 grants to schools and organizations committed to supporting undocumented students. The deadline to submit a grant application is Feb. 28.

For more information, go to www.wearethedream.us.

Christine Friar

Christine Friar

Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.