The DREAMers

Last week I picked up an assignment to cover a teach-in rally at the Massachusetts State House in support of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act — my very first assignment for The New York Times. The Times was working on a story on undocumented immigrant students and wanted to take a look at the broader DREAM Act movement from a national standpoint, and Boston happened to be the headquarters of one of the regional support organizations, the Student Immigrant Movement. None of my photos made it into the final cut of the story, but them’s the breaks of the newspaper biz, right? So, taking advantage of the beauty of self-publishing, here are few of my selects from the afternoon I spent with these self-described “Dreamers.”

8.3.2010 — BOSTON — DREAM University participant Pete Shungu engages the discussion at a teach-in rally at the Massachusetts State House on Aug. 3, 2010. Activists were rallying in favor of the DREAM Act, which would grant a path to citizenship for undocumented students upon completion of higher education or enlistment in the military.

8.3.2010 — BOSTON — High school student Modeline Badio, 18, and other DREAM University participants prepare their signs for their rally in support of the DREAM Act outside the Massachusetts State House on Aug. 3, 2010. The activists were targeting Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown in particular, who has expressed mixed opinions on the DREAM Act.

8.3.2010 — BOSTON — A lone protester made several passes along Beacon Street in his minivan to counter the DREAM University teach-in at the Massachusetts State House on Aug. 3, 2010. The activists largely ignored the protester.

8.3.2010 — BOSTON — Maria Peniche, 19, tells the audience at the DREAM University teach-in about her struggles and goals as an undocmented student at the foot of the Massachusetts State House on Aug. 3, 2010. Peniche, who calls herself a "DREAM Student," is currently enrolled at Pine Manor College.

8.3.2010 — BOSTON — A DREAM University participant waves the American flag during the DREAM University rally's "graduation" ceremony at the foot of the Massachusetts State House on Aug. 3, 2010.

8.3.2010 — BOSTON — Emelia Martinez-Brumbaugh, a Hampshire College student, accepts her "diploma" from the DREAM University teach-in "graduation" ceremony at the foot of the Massachusetts State House on Aug. 3, 2010.

8.3.2010 — BOSTON — Participants of the DREAM University teach-in toss their graduation caps in the air to wrap up their rally at the Massachusetts State House in favor of the DREAM Act on Aug. 3, 2010.

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