Diana is DACAmented And We Can Help Her Become a Doctor!

I met Diana and her family when she was 10 years old, around 2003. They were members of Resurrection Catholic Church in Escondido, where I was organizing when I was an organizer with JOB (Justice Overcoming Boundaries), an interfaith social justice organization. Her entire family and Diana as a young child got engaged with the community organizing efforts, we were leading. She made phone calls, walked precincts to get Latino voters out to vote in the 2006, 2008, 2012 elections. She volunteered for naturalization drives, she organized walk outs for the DREAM ACT and immigrant rights in her high school, all while also helping her family.

Diana is DACAmented, her life has not been easy. Along with the other 700,000 DACAmented young people that have been living in this country with the uncertainty and stressful rollercoaster of the DACA program existing. 

I remember asking Diana what she wanted to be when she grew up, “a doctor,” she would say.  Against many odds, Diana has always stayed focused on that dream, all while working to put herself through college and navigating life with the stresses and barriers that her immigration status has presented. 

She graduated from Cal State San Marcos in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences.  On June 19th, 2020 I joined her for her zoom graduation from UCSD’s year-long Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program. 

In 2013, several of us chipped in to help her cover her DACA application fees. 

Now, I am asking as many of you as possible to chip in so that we can help Diana raise funds to cover the cost for her to take a 6-8 week MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) preparation course and take the exam in September of this year. 

Data shows that students that take the preparation courses do better on the exams. We know that for low income students who do not have the resources to pay for these preparation courses as well as have the luxury of not working to solely study, they are at a disadvantage. 

Kaplan MCAT or Princeton Review MCAT courses cost from $1700-$6,000 based on the elements of the program. 

I am hoping that we can help raise $4,000 to help Diana cover the cost of her MCAT preparation courses as well as have $500 a month for two months to help her with gas, food and other personal essential items.  The hope is that we are able to raise enough funds for her to be able to focus on her courses and prepare to take the MCAT exam in Sept., without financial worries.

Please help with whatever amount you are able to. Together we can help Diana continue on her journey to achieve her dreams of attending medical school and becoming a doctor that is committed to serving low income communities of color, as an MD.


You can help Diana get closer to her dream and goal by donating on the Go Fundme setup for her or please send a message if you prefer to Venmo Diana directly @ Diana-Solano-8

In this 2017 file photo, people in Escondido protest President Trump’s decision to end DACA. Diana is on the right side of “Resist Sign.”
(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

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Norma Chavez-Peterson

Norma Chavez-Peterson

Chávez-Peterson is an integral member of San Diego’s civil rights community, with nearly two decades of visionary leadership, organizing and advocacy experience in California’s second-most populous county and southern borderlands. She joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (“ACLU SDIC”) as organizing director in 2012, and became the affiliate’s executive director in 2013. She was instrumental in creating the ACLU SDIC’s integrated advocacy campaign to advance priority issues such as criminal justice reform, police accountability and immigrant rights. Under her leadership, ACLU SDIC staff size has more than doubled to forty dedicated professionals who work with, and within diverse communities to build power together. Further, the affiliate expanded its presence in the Imperial Valley, establishing an Imperial County office in January 2018. Prior to joining the ACLU, Chávez-Peterson was executive director of Justice Overcoming Boundaries, a collaborative network of faith, community, education, business and labor partners she co-founded to advance social justice. She currently serves on the boards of Partners For Progress and Engage San Diego; and most recently, helped to launch the San Diego Rapid Response Network. In her annual Salute to Women Leaders, California Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. named Chávez-Peterson the 79th District’s Woman of the Year for 2017, saying “Norma demonstrates the kind of strong, passionate, visionary and effective leadership we need so desperately right now to protect the rights of our most vulnerable residents.” Norma Chávez-Peterson attended San Diego State University where she earned a BA in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies. She is married and lives with her family in Chula Vista.

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