Supporting Students

Supporting Students Impacted by Migration and Deportation Zoom Conference Recap

By Michell Diaz-Flores

The zoom conference Supporting Students Impacted by Migration and Deportation was presented by Juan Terrazas from scholar systems who shares his story of overcoming adversity as an undocumented Mexican Immigrant. At the age of 14, his father was deported to Mexico and his mother returned to Mexico to care for her dying father. Juan decided to stay in Dallas, Texas because he realized the importance of obtaining an education in the United States. This event dramatically changed his life but despite this challenge, he was determined to overcome his struggles and to obtain higher education. He received an associate’s degree from El Centro Community College in 2011 and received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 2020. For more information about his journey make sure to check out his first published book Left in America.

Juan Terrazas was left in Dallas with a cousin and her boyfriend but at the age of 15, he was kicked out by her cousin’s boyfriend. The words “I just don’t like you” were what he told Juan to justify why he was getting kicked out. Juan felt abandoned and living from place to place. Juan knew that the only way to get out of the situation he was in was to receive an education so he was committed to accomplish this dream for himself and his family. Many times he felt like giving up but the promise he made to his family and himself filled him with determination. As Juan mentioned in his presentation “what was impossible became possible” now he works for the Path Project in Georgia in which he works with schools, parents, businesses, park owners, and churches in providing academic guidance. He is also part of an organization called scholar systems in which he works with promised students as an influencer and educator.