While lazy Sunday mornings are a common occurrence in Claremont, this past Sunday, Apr. 10, was anything but. The 5C organization IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success), hosted its 2nd Annual 5k Dream Run, welcoming a large turnout of both students and community members excited to take part in the event. In collaboration with Pomona High School’s Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) organization, IDEAS held the event with the purpose of promoting and supporting the pursuit of education for immigrant students.
After meeting and checking in at Pomona College’s Bixby Plaza outside Frary Dining Hall, the couple hundred participants—many sporting red Dream Run t-shirts—ran, jogged, and walked the 5k, taking a route that traversed the campuses of all five colleges and eventually circled back to Bixby Plaza. Around half an hour later, runners began reaching the finish line, coming back to where they started—but this time both exhausted and exhilarated.
“I’m so glad I participated in the Dream Run! It was really exciting doing it with so many people, and crossing the finish line was such a fulfilling and satisfying experience,” said Jovani Azpeitia PO ‘19. “I definitely hope to do it again for the years to come.”
Not only did the event gather a large group of community members and students keen on making a difference, sporting posters with slogans like “Migration is Beautiful,” the event also served to celebrate the potential of immigrants.
The Dream Run showed a concerted effort to support students who are either undocumented or who hold a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grant. Due to their status, these students face uncertainty in the education system, often unable to experience the opportunities that many documented students may take for granted. Raising awareness of the problems that they face is a major step to facilitating change. In addition, the funds raised from the 5k Dream Run will go to provide scholarships for Pomona High School students planning on attending college next year.
“The event was a huge success!” said Kim Rojas PO ‘17, who worked to plan and coordinate the event. “It’s so inspiring to physically see the support for undocumented students through this event. It was at least twice the size of last year’s, and we are excited to watch it continue growing,”
Indeed, the growth of the Dream Run in just a year is exciting to see. Looking ahead, Rojas has high hopes for next year’s Dream Run.
“We hope to partner with student organizations at other local high schools and not only Pomona High School so that more undocumented students have the opportunity to apply for these scholarships,” she said.
Ultimately, IDEAS serves to provide opportunities and give a voice to all undocumented/DACAmented students. With its annual Dream Run, IDEAS is making a visible impact, one step at a time.