October 16, 2015
Aguilar Continues ‘Coffee with your Congressman’ at Chaffey College
Yesterday, Rep. Pete Aguilar continued his “Coffee with your Congressman” series by meeting with students at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga. Since taking office earlier this year, Rep. Aguilar has held personal gatherings with constituents in communities across the Inland Empire. The program was inspired by “Coffee with the Council,” which Rep. Aguilar started when he served on the Redlands City Council.
“It was great to have the opportunity to hear directly from students about a wide variety of issues facing young people today. One of the most common things we hear from students is college affordability. I get it—I’ve been in their shoes. I know what it’s like to stress over where the money is going to come from each semester for books and to register for courses,” said Rep. Aguilar. He added, “I was also impressed at the other issues students wanted to talk about, from immigration reform to workforce training to gun control. These are critical issues that affect people of every generation.”
Jazmin Bravo was one of the many students who attended. She is the founder of the DREAMers Club, a student organization that educates students about the plight of DREAMers and the opportunities that are available for undocumented students like her. Jazmin shared her personal story with Rep. Aguilar of coming to the United States with her mom when she was a little girl. She explained that it was through the help of her teachers—one in particular—who helped her succeed in the classroom. A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, Jazmin described the disadvantages she faced financially when applying to schools.
“I learned that most of the benefits people had only applied to those who were born here and wouldn’t apply to me. It really discouraged me from seeking further education since I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay for it,” said Jazmin. She continued, “Having Pete Aguilar’s support in our goals makes it that much more rewarding and we appreciate him coming to talk to students because we have a voice too. The struggles we face only make us fight stronger for our education.”
Comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship and improving our education system are top priorities for Rep. Aguilar. Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, Rep. Aguilar spoke with families throughout the Inland Empire to learn more about their experiences with the immigration process. He has also been a continued supporter of investing more in education, from pre-k through college.