Monday, March 24, 2014
Astrid Silva, DREAM Act activist is the winner of this year's Immigrant Youth Achievement Award. She will be honored, along with Chair of the SEIU Civil Participation & Immigration Initiative Eliseo Medina, GALA Theatre founders Rebecca and Hugo Medrano and immigration reform leader Jeanne Butterfield at the Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards on April 10th.
In 2009 Astrid became deeply involved in the politics surrounding the DREAM Act after a chance encounter with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. She formed a pen pal relationship with the Senator, writing him handwritten notes about her life. Sharing her stories allowed him a unique insight into the life of a DREAMer. His friendship with Astrid was a crucial motivator and source of inspiration for Senator Reid’s policies on immigration.
From that moment on, she became the poster child for the DREAM Act in Nevada, where she was one of only a handful of students in the state to reveal her identity and status in the United States.
In 2011, Astrid and a small group of dedicated DREAMers and allies formed DREAM Big Vegas, an organization that aims to educate the community about the DREAM Act. After Deferred Action was announced, DREAM Big Vegas helped organize workshops and help for DREAMers who were unable to obtain information through other sources.