The UCI DREAM Center’s mission is to stand with and serve those impacted by immigration policy through advancing systemic change, deconstructing oppressive policies, and fostering community. We work towards personal growth, collective healing, and visible change.
The history of the UCI DREAM Center is intertwined with the history of undocumented student activism, resistance, and resilience at UCI, which stretches back decades. This lineage has been shaped by the many undocumented individuals that have transformed this institution through their presence and their dedication to their dreams. Along with committed staff, administrators, and faculty, these students laid the groundwork for many advances, including the creation of the DREAM Center.
Undocumented Student Services Begins, 2013
The UCI Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP) hired Ana Miriam Barragan as the first coordinator of undocumented student services in 2013. Ana Miriam was a member of the SOAR (Student Outreach and Retention) Center, which focused on supporting students from historically marginalized communities.
Creation of DREAM Center, 2017
In 2017, CFEP saw that demand for undocumented student services had grown significantly and that the undocumented student population had also grown. In the summer of 2017, the DREAM Center was created to respond to this increased need. The name DREAM was chosen by student leaders as an acronym for the values of the new center: Diversity, Resilience, Empowerment, Advocacy, and Mentorship. Ana Miriam Bamagan was appointed as the Assistant Director of the new DREAM Center and Oscar Teran, Esq. was hired as the inaugural Director.
Navigating Changes, Always Student-Centered, 2018
Shortly after the DREAM Center was created, the Trump Administration announced the rescission of DACA. This and subsequent changes to immigration policy have had tremendous impacts on many of the students the DREAM Center serves. In addition to changes in national immigration law and policy, the DREAM Center has also seen changes in organizational structure and its location on campus. The DREAM Center moved out of CFEP in 2018 and is now part of the UCI Student Life & Leadership department, which houses other resource Centers and student life programs.
Change of Location and the Creation of the RISE Suite, 2021
The DREAM Center moved physically from the Anteater Community Resource Center (ACRC) which was located in parking lot 5 by Mesa Court to our current location in the RISE Suite. The RISE Suite is on the 4 floor of the Student Center (South) and is a shared space among the UCI Latinx Resource Center, UCI Sustainability Resource Center, UCI Womxn’s Center for Success and UC Immigrant Legal Services. Overall, the RISE Suite is a space created to assist with student needs and stands for “Rooted In Student Empowerment.”
The Growth of the DREAM Center, 2023
In the 2022-2023 academic school year, the DREAM Center had 4 full time professional staff and 25 student staff. This is the largest the team has ever been which demonstrates the growing need of students and the optimization of DREAM Center resources.
Through all of these changes, the DREAM Center has grown its programs, its services, and the number of students it serves. All of our programs and services are grounded in ideas and needs expressed by students and the DREAM Center continues to evolve and grow thanks to student leadership.