Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca./ Jesse Urrutia for Forbes

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca couldn’t wait to start college and make her American dream a reality. As soon as she was able, Sarahi decided to apply for FAFSA, which gives qualifying students financial assistance for college. That’s when she was dismayed to find out she didn’t qualify for financial aid because of her undocumented status. To make matters worse, her school counselor told her “people like” her don’t go to college 🤦🏽‍♀️

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca shows off the DREAMers Roadmap app./

As the youngest of 11 children, Sarahi was the first in her family to aspire for college. She decided she wouldn’t let her status stop her, and others, from reaching their full potential. So she developed DREAMers Roadmap, a nonprofit college financial aid mobile app specifically for undocumented students.

She knew she wasn’t alone in facing financial challenges due to her status. There are 1.2 million DREAMers with a social security number, which means the other two-thirds don’t have the digits required to apply for FAFSA. 

Lilly graduated from UCLA in 2017/

By creating DREAMers Roadmap, Sarahi made it possible for this vulnerable population to take open doors of opportunity. The app has helped more than 20,000 undocumented students afford college costs. Sarahi has come a long way since her parents decided to migrate from Mexico. In a testimonial, Lilly, one of the app users, said DREAMers Roadmap made it possible for her to attend the University of California-Los Angeles. Thanks in large part to the access the app gave her, Lilly was the first in her family to graduate college 🎓

Through this app, Sarahi is changing the future for Latinxs for generations to come!