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student of the year: "DREAMER" IS TOP HONORS STUDENT IN NATION They call them “Dreamers," these children who were brought here at a young age and, for EKU senior Omar Salinas Chacón, another dream came true in November 2017 in Atlanta, where, competing against leading honors students from across the U.S the political science and Spanish major was named Student of the Year by the National Collegiate Honors Council. Salinas Chacón doesn't shy away from talking about his DACA status and his uncertain future in the U.S., or the irony of winning such a prestigious national honor in the city where his American journey began 17 years ago. His working-class parents, escaping a bloody civil war, gang violence and extreme poverty in El Salvador, fled to America with little more than a dream: that Omar and his brother would one day enjoy "a better life than they did not only live, but thrive." "I grew up in a time right after 9/11 and a wave of anti-immigration sentiment hit the country." Salinas Chacon said. "I was not encouraged to speak Spanish. I was told that I was other.' I was told that my culture and heritage did not contribute and will not contribute anything to this country. I was told that at best I was but a servant." . So Salinas Chacón set out to "be the person my family needed when I was younger. I see families like mine get overlooked all the time. I want to be that person who helps them lift up themselves and their communities because, at the end of the day, we are all part of the community."
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