Local DACA recipient follows his dreams and defies the odds

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 9:36 AM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - In this week’s segment of Making a difference, we speak with a DACA recipient who shares the challenges and struggles he has faced while attempting to reach his ultimate dream.

Gabriel Chavez was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and when he was three years old, his parents made the decision to cross the river to Laredo.

It was a decision that would label him as a Dreamer for the rest of his life.

Illegal or not, Gabriel says it was the best decision because like the label “Dreamer”, Gabriel had a dream that came to him in high school as he shadowed the ER at a local hospital.

Gabriel decided to set out to overcome the many challenges that awaited him, starting with traveling for his undergraduate degree.

Thankfully the Deferred Action Program presented itself at such a time that was able to open the door for him which allowed him to pursue an education at UT Austin. After that it was getting into medical school.

Gabriel says, the majority of schools in Texas do not consider Dreamers, so it’s difficult enough to get into a medical school but it was just an extra challenge to overcome.

He overcame this with an acceptance into a medical school in New York City that he began this past summer.

Once his medical training is complete, the one challenge he won’t have to overcome is deciding where to practice.

Gabriel says he plans on coming back to Laredo because it’s what inspired him to pursue a career in medical school and when he returns, he plans on inspiring other dreamers with his messages of hope.

And like his mother used to tell him, he says, “I may come as one but with the will of many, the will of my family that has guided me, that has got me here for something much greater than I could have imagined.”

As of now there is no clear path to citizenship for Gabriel but with his employment authorization, after he graduates from medical school, he can complete his residency program and then work as a physician here in his hometown.

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