CT Students for a Dream (C4D) was founded in 2010 by a group of undocumented students and allies from across Connecticut. Initially coming together to discuss how it could advocate for the Federal DREAM Act, this small group organized a CT “Dream Summit” to kick off the DREAM movement in Connecticut, where over 30 students attended, and were trained on how to organize for the DREAM Act. C4D then held Connecticut’s first “Undocumented & Unafraid: Coming Out” event in the state, where students shared their stories of being undocumented and came out publicly to their communities, a first in CT.
As the DREAM Act came up for a vote in 2010, C4D grew and rallied around the vote. At this time, C4D had become part of a national network of immigrant youth organizations, United We Dream (UWD), and took part in the national campaign to
push for the DREAM Act’s passage. Although the DREAM Act failed to pass the Senate by five votes, we continued to fight to better the lives of undocumented students in Connecticut
With a new purpose, C4D set out to work to win In-State Tuition for undocumented students in CT, which passed in May 2011 as C4D members fought, lobbied, testified, and shared our stories with legislators. For the first time, the personal stories and voices of CT’s undocumented students were heard by our legislators.
The victory was a true testament to the power of our stories. Since the passage of the In-State Tuition Bill, C4D has worked to develop and launch our “College Access Program” to help all students achieve their dreams of obtaining higher education.
In 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) became a reality, not only changing the lives of our members, but our movement as well. C4D grew as new youth, seeing the power they had to create social change, felt energized and joined the movement. The new members and energy resulted in three youth-lead chapters being created – Danbury, Bridgeport, and Stamford. These “Regional Teams” of CT Students for a Dream are the organizing component of our organization. Regional teams are made up of students and families who work in their communities to further C4D’s mission and goals in the community. Although the DACA policy has given undocumented immigrant students a temporary solution, the fight continues for a permanent solution for our families and communities.