I Support AB 131 – Bupendra’s Story

My name is Bupendra and I support AB 131. Ethnically Indian, I was born in Fiji and I came to the United States when I was two-years-old. Six months later, I became undocumented. At the age of 23, I became undocumented and Unafraid.

I never knew what it meant to be undocumented; all I knew is that I had a passion to learn. I was exactly like the student sitting next to me, learning about the values this country was founded on, believing that those who work hard can succeed in America. As sappy as it may sound, obtaining an education felt like my calling. Education is the light that I shine down the dark tunnel, to urge, challenge, and undermine the fear of not knowing my obscure future.

I have been on the Honor Roll since kindergarten at Eucalyptus Elementary School, I won academic medals. I took on an average of five honors and advanced placement courses a year. I graduated in the top five percent of my high school graduating class. I was accepted to CSULB, CSUMB, CSULA, CSUF, UCLA, UCSC, and LMU. Thanks to AB540 I was able to pursue my undergraduate Business Administration degree with a minor in Speech Communication at CSU, Fullerton.

During my first year at CSU, Fullerton I commuted by public transportation, traveling two hours to campus. Thankfully, my teachers and scholarship donors believed in me enough to award me with scholarship to fund my education. Still I had to scrape together the funds for the following year by working at any job that came my way. I would forgo any desire for material possessions because the desire to have a degree from a university was more important to me.

In May of 2010, I became the first person in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. In January, I will start my graduate studies in Speech Communication with emphases in Intercultural and Organization Communication at CSU, Fullerton.

AB131 means that I will be able to focus more on my studies, remain a productive member of society, and to make a difference within my community. AB131 means that I will have access to 1% of the funds that I contribute to when I pay for tuition. AB131 means that means that I will be able to focus on my studies during graduate school. AB131 means that I will be able to further my education so that I can participate and contribute to the state’s economy. AB131 means that I will have a chance to attain my dream of a Master’s degree.