Contributed by Aaron Hall, Partner
On August, 4, 2014, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine welcomed Johana Mejias and the rest of its Class of 2018 to school. Johana is one of seven medical students starting school at the Stritch School of Medicine there who was granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under the Department of Homeland Security’s program which started in 2012.
Johana arrived in the United States at age three and has lived here ever since. Despite not having immigration status, she remained focused on her studies and has excelled at every level. She studied cellular and molecular biology and the psychology of neuroscience at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Johana first applied for DACA through Joseph & Hall P.C. the day after DHS started accepting applications and was quickly approved.
At the welcome event for the incoming medical school class, she was asked to speak and explained, “Today, what was once just a dream starts to become a reality. I find myself as part of Loyola Stritch, a loving, professional and courageous institution that believed in my ability to one day become a successful practicing physician.” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, and other dignitaries were on hand at the event to welcome the incoming class of medical students.
Johana’s hard work and achievement are an inspiration and we at Joseph & Hall P.C. are proud to have gotten the chance to work with her. Johana’s story also shows the potential in our talented and driven young adults that have been granted DACA. Grants of deferred action under DACA allow our communities to reap the benefits from the talent, passion, and creativity of these young people.
Congratulations, Johana! You make us proud. We can’t wait to follow your career and see all of the great things you achieve and all of the people you will help.
-To see the press release from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, click here.
-For more about the DACA program, click here.
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