California State University, Long Beach
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Undocu5K Run On Nov. 19

Published: November 14, 2016

In an effort to raise scholarship funds for undocumented students, the Latino Student Union at CSULB is hosting the first Breaking Fronteras: Undocu5k on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with the run beginning at 8:30 a.m. The course will be five kilometers (3.1 miles) around a laid-out track on the CSULB campus.

“This is something the Latino Student Union talked about over the summer because of the lack of resources for undocumented students,” said Luis Flores, one of the event organizers and the president of FUEL (Future Underrepresented Educated Leaders). “A lot of those students don’t qualify for assistance when it comes to scholarship opportunities because of the lack of legal status.”

Undocumented students, including those who qualify for AB 540 status, are not eligible to receive federal financial aid, but with the passage of AB 130 and 131 in 2011, scholarships administered by colleges and universities and state financial resources are now available to them.

Institutional Scholarships (AB130) allow students who qualify under AB540 to be eligible for colleges’ and universities’ privately funded scholarships that do not have a residency or citizenship requirement.

Grants (AB131) allow students who qualify under AB540 to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid–such as the CSULB State University Grant, fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant. For more information about the different types of state grants available under the Dream Act, individuals can visit the campus’ State Grant information page.

The money being raised at the Breaking Fronteras: Undocu5k will be used to create scholarships that will benefit students all across California. The event is a response to the void in the support, resources and accessibility for undocumented students, not just at CSULB, but at a nation-wide level, according to Flores.

“We wanted to have an event, a community event, to bring people together for a good cause,” he said. “We’re going to raise money and we’re going to give scholarships to students across the state regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability. This is for students all across the board who fall under the immigration umbrella. They do not have to be DACA recipients (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to be eligible for this scholarship money.

“Our goal is that this is something we want to continue so we want to lay a strong foundation so we can build on it,” he added. “If we have a great event this year, there’s a better chance we can do it again next year. We’d like to make this a national sort of thing so we are aiming to influence other schools on the East Coast to do the same for their students.”

Organizers anticipate having between 200-300 runners at the Nov. 19 event with the hope of raising $10,000 or more to use for scholarships, which could possibility be distributed by the spring semester.

If enough funds are raised, scholarships given away, ranging anywhere from $100 to $2,500 will be available to undocumented students at all CSU campus, according to Flores.

“This is not just for students of the Latino community, but students from all communities across California,” said Flores. “The more people we can help the better. That’s the bottom line.”

For more information, e-mail breakingfronteras5k@gmail.com or to sign up visit the Breaking Fronteras: Undocu5K Run website.