Erika Glazer Dreams of Schooling for All
April 12, 2017
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Cal State LA is home to a community of undocumented students, who face financial and legal hardships on the road to attaining their degrees. In assistance to whom, the Erika J. Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center provides scholarships, workshops, and advisement to help them achieve their dreams.
Cal State LA recently held a ceremony on Tuesday, April 4 to dedicate the center in honor of Glazer and her financial contributions. President William Covino opened the event by sharing a few words about Cal State LA’s commitment to standing up for undocumented students against a U.S administration that vocally opposes them.
“The divisive climate in the nation and the looming threat of deportation have had a tremendous impact on our students, undocumented students and their families now,” said Covino. “Our faculty, staff, and administrators are in search for ways to assist and protect our students and try to ease our way through this time of uncertainty… We recognize that what threatens some on our campus threatens all on our campus.”
Covino then introduced Glazer to the stage, who was treated to loud applause by university staff and students in attendance. She spoke about the beginnings of the center, and how her decision to help fund it began with wanting to set up a scholarship program for kids in need.
“In reviewing scholarship documents from many different organizations, it became clear that undocumented kids were specifically forbidden to apply [for various scholarships], and it was spelt out ‘no undocumented students’. So, being the contrarian I tend to be, I decided that’s exactly what we needed, [a scholarship] for only undocumented students.”
Glazer has kept her commitment. Since 2006, she has provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to help undocumented students thrive at Cal State LA. In fact, Glazer and her family gave the school an endowment of $1.6 million to fund the Dreamers Center in 2015. Glazer believes that “unfortunately we can have an unkind nation; the Dreamers Center is here to bring a little kindness to the Cal State LA Campus.”
Glazer’s generous contributions are an obvious indicator of her commitment to fight for undocumented students’ rights to college education. The Dreamer Center Coordinator Luz Borjon Montalvo is equally dedicated to their shared cause, as displayed by her passionate speech at the ceremony.
“Eleven-years ago in 2006, when Erika Glazer brought her scholarship to this university, it was the next step in the birth of SURGE [a student organization],” Montalvo said. “It was also a time [of] immigrants march[es] happening, and like a million immigrants showed up in downtown LA, and we saw the students marching in their caps and gowns because they wanted a future and dreamed of being able to come to a university like this, and Erika responded to that need.”
The Dreamers Center continues to provide help for students in need and encourage for academic success no matter where you come from.