WSU students celebrate academic achievement - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WSU students celebrate academic achievement

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RICHLAND, WA - Graduation season is upon us, and the Dreamers Club of WSU Tri-Cities is hosting a special graduation ceremony to celebrate the academic achievement of DACA students, also known as the 'Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals' program.

Reporter Stefani Zenteno spoke with members of the club today.

"This is the first ever la raza graduation which started this idea that we saw in other campuses," said Ana Sandoval, a WSU student. "How they have their multi-cultural graduations and la raza graduation and we thought we could incorporate it in our campus."

The Dreamers Club of WSU Tri-Cities will have a graduation ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the achievements of all Hispanic and DACA graduates who will be walking on May 6th.

Vanessa Alvares is studying civil engineering. She's a DACA recipient and will soon be graduating, and she says the ceremony will be a more intimate event.

"It's definitely important to celebrate Latinos' graduation," Alvares said. "Because not many Latinos go to universities and not many Latinos actually graduate so this is a big accomplishment for our community."

The purpose of the club is to help and provide resources to undocumented students who are protected under the DACA program. The university's ceremony will be this Saturday.

Mariela Lora is the Dreamers Club adviser, and she says they hope to begin a tradition by hosting this event for graduates.

"This will be our first, and we hope that it will be an annual recurrence to celebrate the diversity of our students here at WSU Tri-Cities," Lora said.

The club will be celebrating the graduation of 30 students, and they're expecting a total of 300 people.