My name is Maribel Serrano and I'm a dreamer... which means...
I came to the US at the age of 4 and didn't find out I was undocumented until I was in high school. As someone who believed all her life that she was and American citizen, finding out I wasn't shattered my dreams, hopes and my very identity. I was an "honors" student and part of the Gifted and Talented programs at my schools, so I felt I had a bright future ahead of me, until I realized I was not going to be able to work legally, obtain a driver's license, travel abroad or apply for college financial aid. Nevertheless, I tried my best, and although it took me 8 years, I graduated college with a degree in journalism and began sharing my story at the age of 20.
Through an executive order known as DACA, I was allowed to return to my birthplace in Mexico for the first time in 25 years. I waited for 25 years to re-connect with the 4 year-old I left behind, and I knew this would be an extremely emotional moment in which I would find answers to many of my questions about my identity, and immigration in general. The experience was magical as I met family members I didn't know I had, and finally understood why immigration happens and why people decide to seek opportunities in the U.S. I wanted to bring many people on this journey with me, and I realized I could do this through a documentary I could share with students, educators, politicians and community leaders to humanize the immigrant experience.
After we began filming the documentary and I returned back to LA, the 2016 election happened and the political climate took a dramatic turn. Immigrants have continued to be villianized and taunted, and it truly breaks my soul, because I know the struggles and sacrifices immigrants undergo as they seek a better life. It is so important to continue sharing these stories and to break the stigma around immigration. I believe that now is the time to act, to create and to shine a light... it is not the time to hide.
The money used throughout this campaign will be used towards post-production of the documentary. It will help us hire the help needed for editing, music, subtitles, color correction, marketing, publicity, some travel and other filming expenses. With your help, we can create a documentary that will educate and inspire a generation <3
My deepest thanks for sharing my vision and helping me make this project a reality
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