Author Archives: 21 Progress

Ayulieth’s Story– Journey to Homeowner

My Journey 

I was born in Tzintzuntzan, Michoacan. I came to the United States when I was 11 hoping to reunite with my father and brother. Soon after my arrival, my father passed and I returned to Mexico. It was a devastating blow.

I traveled to Washington State again, this time with family, walking for an entire week and many of us sick with fever, and I thought one of us might die. Still, we pressed on, and despite the odds we arrived safely.

Before DACA

As an adult without access to a work permit, I was only able to work low-wage jobs like babysitting and in fast food restaurants. My husband and I, despite our combined incomes, could not cover our expenses. We felt the weight of the world crushing us.

What would we do if we couldn’t pay our rent? What if we couldn’t afford to eat? When our family grew by two beautiful boys, I worried that we couldn’t give them a stable life because my employment options as an undocumented immigrant were limited.  For my sons, I refused to give up.

Applying for DACA

Although I was excited about Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, I hesitated to apply. I kept asking myself: “What will happen if the program ends?” “ What if my application is denied?” “ What if I do not qualify?” 

I made the hard decision to apply, and went through 21 Progress and the Build Your Dream Program. I was relieved to learn that there was financial assistance for the DACA application. 21 Progress provided not only DACA loans but also a workshop on loan education and financial empowerment.  After finishing the workshop, the staff continued to help anytime I called.

After DACA

I was approved and received DACA in June 2015.  Through the BYD workshop, I learned that I could also build credit with the social security number and that the credit that I built with my ITIN number could be transferred. This powerful piece of information propelled me on the path that led me to homeownership.

I transferred my credit history to my new social security number and completed all the necessary steps to apply to purchase my new home.

As a result of DACA,

  • I don’t have to fear deportation and being separated from my children
  • I can attend college
  • I feel more confident to ask for promotions and speak about my skills
  • I received a promotion and am now Floor Manager of Bourbon Street Bar and Grill  
  • Our financial situation is stable and I can spend more time with my family

Dream Come True

On August 17, 2015, I received the keys to my first home! I, my husband Giovanni and our young sons Franco and Ernesto now live in a safe community where the boys can grow and play.  My dream was to see my children grow up in our very own home,  and I’ve achieved it. Applying for DACA and attending the Build Your Dream workshop was one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made.

If you want to invest in immigrant communities and help build a strong foundation for the next generation of youth of color, consider a donation today. With your support, you’ll open doors for families like mine to make Washington home.

First API DACA Scholarship in Washington State


Marissa Vichayapai

21 Progress


New Scholarship for Undocumented Asian and Pacific Islander Immigrants

1st API DACA Scholarship in Washington State

Seattle, WA


Fearless Asians for Immigration Reform (FAIR!), a campaign of 21 Progress, the leading provider of financial assistance for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in Washington State, has started the first scholarship program for undocumented Asian and Pacific Islanders in the state.  If qualified, DACA allows undocumented youth and young adult immigrants to stay in the United States without fear of deportation, provides a work permit, and access to educational opportunities.


Asian and Pacific Islanders make up close to 5,500 of the undocumented students and young adults in Washington State, but less than 5% of them have applied for the DACA program which offers access to education and career opportunities,” states Marissa Vichayapai, FAIR! Director.


The FAIR! scholarship pays for the $465 application fee, provides access to free legal assistance, and professional and confidential coordination with any services or programs students and young adults may need. To be eligible for this scholarship, participants should:

  • Be of Asian or Pacific Islander descent
  • Make certain they are eligible for DACA (check eligibility)
  • Have a completed or nearly completed DACA application that has been reviewed by an immigration attorney
  • Apply on the Fearless Asians for Immigration Reform (FAIR!) website:

Legacy of Leadership – May 13th



You are invited!

Register Today

The Legacy of Leadership: Honoring Sharon Maeda will be on May 13th, 2015 at 6pm at the Wing Luke Museum of the Pacific Asian American Experience. At the event, guests will experience complimentary drinks and appetizers. Sponsors will be acknowledged in the program, on the 21 progress website, and in guest communication leading up to the event. The night will celebrate Sharon Maeda who has been a social justice and equity leader for 47 years. Proceeds will benefit the renovation of the 21 Progress office and their mission to develop leaders.

Sharon’s worked for 47 years in Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC as well as here in the Puget Sound area as a teacher, trainer and mentor; manager and grantmaker; broadcaster and advocate for justice.

Most recently, she has been on the forefront of immigrant justice and leadership development as the founding executive director of 21 Progress.

Ticket prices increase on May 1st. Purchase your tickets today.

Join us as a sponsor: Become a sponsor

Volunteer for the event: volunteer form



Vote YES on Prop. 1

21 PROGRESS joins hundreds of other organizations to support KING COUNTY PROP 1 to prevent major cuts to Metro bus service, the lifeline of students, the disabled, seniors and low income people.
URGE EVERY REGISTERED VOTER YOU KNOW……knock on your neighbors’ doors and ask them to VOTE.
$60 annual car fee, but special $1.25 bus rate for low income, and partial rebate for low income car owners.  Plus 40% going to repair roads and bridges.
THE ALTERNATIVE:  Loss of bus routes for 80% of current bus riders and 30,000 more cars on the road every day!
Ballots must be postmarked or dropped off by April 22nd.


What happened with DACA? What’s all this about an injunction?

An injunction is a court order that blocks something from happening. This Injunction was made in a specific location in Texas by specific people critical of comprehensive immigration reform. This injunction is not the final word! The White House administration has appealed. To be very clear this injunction in no way affects the existing DACA program, the executive decision President Obama announced in 2012. The Injunction only affects the Expansion of DACA and the new DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) the executive announcement that President Obama made November 20, 2014.

Now what?:The Injunction has basically put a halt on the start of the expansion of DACA and the new DAPA programs. An appeal process normally takes anywhere from 6-12 months. The Government has filed a motion for blocking the injunction, which basically blocks the block. This is called an emergency stay. This can take anywhere from 10 days to 3-4 weeks. We will stay updated on this information and provide more as it comes.

Summary: The existing DACA program is not affected, those who qualify should continue to come forward and apply, those who already have DACA status should continue to renew. The start of the expansion of DACA and the new DAPA programs are on pause pending the governmental appeal, but we are very confident that the government will appeal and that the injunction will  just set back the start date of these programs.

21 Progress’s message to the community: Many of our social service partners in solidarity with 21 Progress are continuing to prepare for the expansion of DACA and the new DAPA program. We are also advising community members who are eligible to prepare by gathering documents to prove residence and by saving money for application fees. How do you know if you or someone you know are eligible? Good question, we will go over the requirements for eligibility for both expanded DACA and DAPA next. Please have a pen and paper ready to take notes.

For Expanded DACA: You or someone you may know are Expanded DACA eligible if you or they; *Have come to the United States before your 16th birthday, * Have continuously live in the U.S. since January 1,2010, * Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from High School, GED certificate, or “be in school” at the time of application, *Have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses. Documents you can start gathering are; *Documents that prove you have lived in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 such as, financial records, lease agreements, phone bills, credit card bills, medical records, school records, diplomas, certificates, report cards,or transcripts, at least one document for each 12 month period since January 1,2010 until the time you submit your application. If there is a gap in your documentation, gather an affidavit from two people that have personal knowledge of your presence in the U.S. during that gap.

For DAPA:You or someone you may know are DAPA eligible if you or they; *are the parent of a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident *Have continuously lived in the U.S. since January 1,2010 *Have been present in the U.S. on November 20,2014. It is also likely you will need to be present in the U.S. everyday from now until you apply for DAPA. *Must Not have lawful immigration status on November 20,2014 and at the time you apply for DAPA * Have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses, felonies, and some misdemeanors.  Documents you can start gathering are; *Identification * Proof you have lived in the U.S. since January 1,2010 such as financial records, lease agreements, phone bills, credit card bills, medical records, school records, diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts, at least one document for each 12 month period since January 1,2010 until the time you submit your application. If there is a gap in your documentation, consider gathering affidavits from two people that have personal knowledge of your presence in the U.S. during that gap, *In order to prove you have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter you must provide the birth certificate, passport, naturalization certificate, or green card of that U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter.


How can I get more Information? How can 21 Progress help?:There is a website where you can access more information; It is called It’s a one stop shop where you can find out important information about immigration issues and when community events are happening with ally organizations that support DACA and comprehensive immigration reform. Please call us to learn more about the 21 Progress DACA program, Build your Dream workshop information, and if you or someone you know needs financial assistance with DACA application fees please refer them Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. 21 Progress is here to support and serve you. Thank you for your time and attention it is very much appreciated!



DACA/DAPA 지연: 정보제공

DACA관련 변화는? 금지명령에 관한 이슈는?

금지명령이란 어떤 일이 시행되는 것을 막는 법원의 명령입니다. 위의 DACA 금지명령은 텍사스의 특정지역에서 포괄적 이민 개혁에 반대하는 인물들에 의해 시행되었습니다. 하지만 이는 최종 판결이 아닙니다. 백악관 정부는 항소도 했습니다. 확실히 하자면, 이 명령은 2012년 오바마 대통령이 발표하고 현행되고 있는 DACA프로그램에 영향이 없습니다. 금지명령에 해당하는 것은 오바마 대통령이 2014년 11월 20일에 발표한 확장형 DACA와 DAPA 프로그램 입니다.

현재 진행상황은?

DACA 금지명령은 확장형 DACA와 DAPA 프로그램의 시작을 중지시켰습니다. 항소 과정은 보통 6개월에서 1년이 소요됩니다. 이에 정부는 금지명령에 대한 정지 명령 신청을 하였습니다. 이것은 금지명령에 대한 또 다른 금지 명령으로서 비상 연기을 뜻합니다. 이 과정은 10일에서 4주까지 소요 될 수 있습니다. 이에 관한 새로운 정보는 계속 업데이트 될 예정입니다.


현행되고있는 DACA 프로그램은 위의 금지명령에 영향을 받지 않으므로 자격을 갖춘 이들은 지원하고 갱신하면 됩니다. 확장형 DACA 와 DAPA 프로그램은 중지되었지만 금지명령과 정부의 항소를 고려할 때 단지 시작이 연기 된 것일 뿐입니다.

21프로그래스가 공동체에 보내는 메세지

21 프로그래스와 결속력 있는 사회 봉사 파트너들은 계속 확장형 DACA 및 DAPA 프로그램의 준비를 하고 있습니다. 지원 자격을 갖춘 공동체 구성원들은 거주 증명 서류 및 지원비 저축을 하시길 바랍니다. 어떻게 지원자격을 확인할 수 있을까요? 좋은 질문입니다. 확장형 DACA 프로그램 및 DAPA 프로그램의 적격여부에 관해 설명해 드리겠습니다. 필기구와 노트를 준비하세요.

확장형 DACA 프로그램

아래 모든사항에 해당하는 분은 DACA 프로그램에 지원자격이 있습니다.

*미국에 만16세 이전에 이주한 자

*2010년 1월 1일부터 계속 미국에서 거주한 자

*미국에서 고등학교를 졸업하거나 GED 자격증을 가지고 있거나 지원시에 학교에 통학하고 있는 자

*특정 범죄에 유죄판결을 받은 적이 없는 자

지금부터 수집 할 수 있는 자료는 아래와 같습니다.

*2010년 1월 1일부터 계속 미국에서 거주한 것을 증명하는 서류. 예를 들어 재무 기록, 임대계약서, 전화비,  신용카드 청구서, 의료기록, 재학기록, 학위, 자격증, 성적서 등이 있습니다.

*2010년 1월 1일부터 지원 시까지 매 월 거주 증명 할 수 있는 서류가 최소 1개 필요합니다.

*만약 증명 서류가 부족하다면 그 기간동안 미국에서 거주 한 것을 증명하는 최소 2명에게 받은 선서서가 필요합니다.

DAPA 프로그램

아래 모든 사항에 해당하는 분은 DAPA 프로그램에 지원자격이 있습니다.

*미국 시민자 또는 영주권자의 부모

*2010년 1월 1일부터 미국에 계속 거주 한 자

*2014년 11월 20일에 미국에 있던 자. 또한 DAPA에 지원 할 때 까지 미국에 계속 있는 자.

*2014년 11월 20일과 DAPA에 지원할 때 합법적 이민 신분이 없는자

*특정 범죄, 중범죄, 경범죄에 유죄판결을 받은 적이 없는 자

지금부터 수집 할 수 있는 자료는 아래와 같습니다.

*2010년 1월 1일부터 계속 미국에서 거주한 것을 증명하는 서류. 예를 들어 재무 기록, 임대계약서, 전화비,  신용카드 청구서, 의료기록, 재학기록, 학위, 자격증, 성적서 등이 있습니다.

*2010년 1월 1일부터 지원 시까지 매 월 거주 증명 할 수 있는 서류가 최소 1개 필요합니다.

*만약 증명 서류가 부족하다면 그 기간동안 미국에서 거주 한 것을 증명하는 최소 2명에게 받은 선서서가 필요합니다.

*미국 시민권자 또는 여주권자의 부모임을 증명하기 위해서는 자녀의 출생신고서, 여권, 귀화증명서 또는 영주권서가 필요합니다.

많은 정보는? 21프로그래스가 도와 있는것은? 는 더 많은 정보를 제공하고 있는 웹사이트입니다. 이 사이트는 이민법 이슈부터 시작해서 DACA 및 포괄적 이민개혁을 지원하는 공동체 이벤트 일정까지 여러가지 정보를 제공합니다.  21프로그래스에서 지원하는 DACA 프로그램, Build your Dream 워크샵에 관련한 정보 및 서류의 재정지원이 필요하시면 DACA@21progress.org로 연락하세요. 21프로그래스는 어느 질문과 걱정도 듣고 지원할 준비가 되어있습니다. 여러분의 시간과 관심에 감사합니다.

Stay Focused, Keep Applying, Keep Fighting

Many questions and concerns have risen after Monday’s ruling by Texas judge, Andrew Hanen, which temporarily delays the expansion of DACA and DAPA program. While this ruling is an unfortunate setback, it is important to note that this is only temporary.


Here is why:

  • Public opinion is on our side. The public has been, and still continues to show strong support for this policy.
  • The law is on our side. This ruling has no legal merit. It is poorly argued, weak and biased. Many Presidents have used executive action in the past and it is fully within Obama’s right to implement the DACA expansion and DAPA program.
  • Leaders are on our side. The Washington Attorney General and 11 other states have all united on this issue and there is confidence that higher courts will support upholding the DACA expansion.
  • The Movement is strong. Activist, organizers and supporters on the ground are continuing to fight hard and push back.

Where do we go from here?

For DACA Expansion or DAPA applicants:

Continue to prepare your applications. Collect evidence, gather needed documents, consult with lawyers, save money for the application fee, and go to your local community organizations and attorneys for help.

       For first time or renewing DACA applicants:

Continue to apply to the DACA program or for a renewal. This ruling does not affect applicants of the original DACA program.

       For supporters, advocates, and allies:

Continue fighting and stay focused. Remember, we have made huge strides and this setback is just a small speed bump on the road to comprehensive immigration reform.



United We Dream

Admin Relief

If you are a current BUILD YOUR DREAM recipient and have a question about our program. Send us an email or give us a call at: 206-829-8382



계속 노력하고, 신청하고, 논쟁하세요

월요일에 있었던 앤드류 하넨 텍사스 판사의 확장형 DACA와 DAPA 프로그램을 일시적으로 지연한 판결에 많은 이들이 의문과 걱정을 표하고 있습니다.  이 판결은 불행한 지연이지만 일시적이라는 점이 중요합니다.

일시적인 이유:

  • 대중의 의견은 우리편입니다. 대중은 지속적으로 이민정책에 관해 많은 지지를 표하고 있습니다.
  • 법은 우리편입니다. 이 판결은 법적 논점이 없습니다. 한쪽으로 치우친 약한 주장입니다. 많은 대통령들이 행정명령을 내렸었고, 확장형 DACA및 DAPA프로그램의 집행은 오바마 정부의 합법적 권한 안에 있습니다.
  • 지도자들은 우리편입니다. 워싱턴 법무장관과 11개 주는 이 이슈에 관해 만장일치 했습니다. 또한, 대법원에서도 DACA의 확장을 허락할 것이라고 예상되어집니다.
  • 강한 풀뿌리운동. 많은 운동가 및 지지자들이 계속 투쟁하고 있습니다.

우리가 할수있는것은?

  • 확장형 DACA 및 DAPA 지원자: 계속 지원서를 준비하세요. 자료수집 및 법률상담, 지원비 저축을 하세요. 지역조직 및 변호사에게 도움을 구하세요.


  • DACA 프로그램 지원자 및 갱신: 계속 DACA에 지원 및 갱신하세요. 위의 판결은 현 (現)DACA 프로그램에 적용되지 않습니다.


  • 지원자, 운동가, 동맹자분들: 계속 노력하고 투쟁하세요. 우리는 지금까지 많은 발전을 이루었으며 이 일시적 지연은 이민법 개정에 작은 과속방지턱이라 생각하세요.



United We Dream

Admin Relief

만약 여러분이 현 BUILD YOUR DREAM 수혜자이고 질문이 있으시면, 이메일 ( 또는 전화를 주세요 206-829-8382.

New Executive Director: Mozart Guerrier

New Executive Director

The board of directors of 21 PROGRESS is excited to announce that Mozart Guerrier has been selected as its new executive director. He will replace retiring executive director, Sharon Maeda, effective February 1, 2015. Guerrier expressed his eagerness to take the helm. “21 PROGRESS has quickly established itself as a collaborative organization eager to stand with those most impacted by the challenges of our time and build a better future,” he said. Guerrier added, “I’m excited to work with the staff, board, and partner organizations to advance our mission of developing the next generation of progressive leadership.”

“We had a number of outstanding applicants, but Mozart’s vision of how we fit into a larger justice movement was incredible,” stated board president, Dave Schmitz. “We were not looking beyond the local area, but his fresh ideas and experience building diverse partnerships sold us all. He’s exactly the kind of leader we need at this time.” Maeda added, “he has an extraordinary grasp of the major issues of the day, expertise in making change, and a humble, warm style that will bridge gaps and build many relationships here. I can leave 21 PROGRESS knowing its in great hands!”

See Guerrier’s TEDx talk at:

Guerrier, a Haitian American, moved from Syracuse, New York, has already fallen in love with Seattle. “He’s already more knowledgeable about issues here than many locals,” added Schmitz. “We have no doubt that Mozart will become well recognized in no time.”

Most recently, Guerrier has been a Community Developer and Partnership Manager with a unique program that engages public housing residents as advocates for breast cancer awareness. He has also built community partnerships with Harvard, Boston University and San Francisco State. He was a caseworker at Catholic Community Services, securing housing for homeless families.

Guerrier has a Masters of Social Work Community Organization and Adult Interventions from University of Syracuse and a Bachelor or Science degree in Psychology. He has served on a number of national and local boards, and has been recognized as an emerging leader under 40.

21 PROGRESS is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in Washington, created in 2012 by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, the largest private sector union in the state to build a 21st Century movement for equity and justice. Through popular education particularly for immigrants, communities of color and low wage workers it seeks out leaders of tomorrow. It’s flagship program is supporting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with college and job readiness, civic engagement and other training while providing access to interest-free loans for their DACA application fees. To date, 21 PROGRESS has supported over 250 DACA applicants. Other programs have included free tax preparation workshops in 11 different languages, a Justice Fellows program for midlevel new generation leaders, and leadership training events for immigrants interested in running for public office and young labor leaders.

Congrats to the American Dialect Society! Who?

In the handwringing – and even soul searching –  since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson last year, it is astonishing how many prominent writers don’t get it.  Even the Oscars didn’t get it, so much so that even Jimmy Fallon mentioned that the nominees were “so white.”
Once a year, members of the American Dialect Society gather at what the New York Times calls the Super Bowl of linguistics, to select the Word of the Year.  They got it.  For 2014, the word of the year is: