Chava, a medical student at the University of Kansas, overcame bullying, financial challenges, and the disadvantages of being an undocumented immigrant to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
At age eight, Chava’s family brought him to the U.S. from Mexico City to escape a financial crisis and pursue a life of more opportunity. Chava had to quickly learn English and was picked on in school. No immigration documentation meant he could not apply to college, work, or drive.
The creation of DACA in 2012 opened up the door for him to attend college, although roadblocks still remained. Federal financial aid is not available to DACA recipients, so Chava worked hard to earn grades that would bring in a full scholarship. He attended Johnson County Community College and then Rockhurst University, earning academic accolades while also working to pay for what his scholarships did not cover. He continued to aspire to be a doctor, majoring in biology despite knowing that many medical schools were still not accepting DACA recipients into their programs.
Fortunately, his dream school, the University of Kansas School of Medicine, announced that it was accepting DACA students just when Chava was starting to feel like giving up on his dream. He applied and was accepting, beginning his studies in Fall 2021.
“Who would have believed that a student like me, an immigrant, who was forced to learn a new language, who faced discrimination and bullying growing up, who didn’t have the advantages of being an American citizen, would ever have a shot at becoming a doctor?” Chava told his alma mater Rockhurst, “The answer to that is simple: Only I believed, and lucky for me, that’s all that ever mattered in the end.”