Mark Zuckerberg, Cofounder of Facebook
Dreamers, Undocumented youth
A few years ago, I taught a class on entrepreneurship at a local middle school. I quickly realized that some of my best students—ones with the motivation and talent to build great businesses—weren’t even sure they’d be able to go to college. They were undocumented immigrants, brought here as children. You know them as Dreamers. I’ve gotten to know other Dreamers over the years and have always been inspired by their strength, sense of purpose, and optimism. They have a special love for the United States because they can’t take living here for granted.
Take Jirayut “New” Latthivongskorn. Born in Bangkok, he came to the US with his parents when he was 9, eventually becoming the first undocumented medical student to attend UC San Francisco. He helped set up Pre-Health Dreamers, a network to support and mentor undocumented students in health and the sciences. When he graduates, he plans to practice in underserved urban communities.
Over the next 25 years, Dreamers like New could have a big impact on the world. People like them already have. Almost half of the top 500 companies in the US—and a lot of leading tech companies—were founded by immigrants or their children. Dreamers know the sacrifices it can take to get to a better future. But they could be denied the opportunity to participate fully in the life of our country. Once we help them reach their full potential here—in the only country most of them have ever known—they will write a large part of America’s next chapter. —As told to Steven Levy
1“During the photo shoot, Mark’s dog, Beast, stayed by photographer Michelle Groskopf’s side the entire time … until she asked Mark to sit in a chair in his sunroom. At that point, Beast leapt across the room onto Mark’s lap. He responded with an ‘oof!’ and we all laughed.” —Anna Alexander, director of photography
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Join us for a four-day celebration of our anniversary in San Francisco, October 12–15. From a robot petting zoo to provocative onstage conversations, you won’t want to miss it. More information at www.Wired.com/25.
This article was syndicated from wired.com