tereza-lee

Tereza Lee, 1983- Present

Tereza Lee, 1983- Present

Tereza Lee, 1983- Present
Tereza Lee was born in Brazil to parents who had fled South Korea after the Korean War. Lee moved to the United States when she was two years old. She first was made aware that she was undocumented when she was seven. At that age, Lee found it difficult to fully understand what this meant, but knew that there was a risk that she could be separated from her family and felt the fear and isolation. At the age of 17, Lee won a prominent piano competition to play with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. When the artistic director encouraged Lee to apply to some of the nation’s top music schools, Lee was confronted with the inability to apply to college. The artistic director, after learning about Lee’s undocumented status, urged her to talk to US Senator, Dick Durbin. They gathered letters of support and sent them to Senator Durbin’s office. Senator Durbin then wrote a personal bill for Lee. Lee’s bill quickly attracted attention of other undocumented students, showing the need for a re-drafted the bill, which then turned into the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act has never passed, despite being re-introduced several times since its first introduction in 2001. The DREAM Act and Lee’s story did however start a national movement, with more DREAMers sharing their stories.

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  1. Tereza Lee, 1983- Present
    Tereza Lee was born in Brazil to parents who had fled South Korea after the Korean War. Lee moved to the United States when she was two years old. She first was made aware that she was undocumented when she was seven. At that age, Lee found it difficult to fully understand what this meant, but knew that there was a risk that she could be separated from her family and felt the fear and isolation. At the age of 17, Lee won a prominent piano competition to play with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. When the artistic director encouraged Lee to apply to some of the nation’s top music schools, Lee was confronted with the inability to apply to college. The artistic director, after learning about Lee’s undocumented status, urged her to talk to US Senator, Dick Durbin. They gathered letters of support and sent them to Senator Durbin’s office. Senator Durbin then wrote a personal bill for Lee. Lee’s bill quickly attracted attention of other undocumented students, showing the need for a re-drafted the bill, which then turned into the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act has never passed, despite being re-introduced several times since its first introduction in 2001. The DREAM Act and Lee’s story did however start a national movement, with more DREAMers sharing their stories.

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