Pre-Health Dreamers (PHD) is a rapidly growing network and community of over 800 health career bound undocumented students across 42 different states, representing various career interests. PHD investigates and shares information on career pathways for pre-health undocumented students as well as advocates for more progressive institutional and governmental policies for undocumented students.
As undocumented students pursuing careers in science and health ourselves, we have witnessed first-hand the dearth of resources available for undocumented students in our fields. We started PHD because we know from experience that no faculty, staff, administrators or student advisors have the information or expertise to advise us on our career paths. We want to increase awareness and support for pre-health undocumented students, and we want the ongoing support and encouragement of a community of individuals with similar aspirations and challenges. We provide peer support–first and foremost–as well as answers about graduate level education in disciplines including, but not limited to: medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health, and scientific research. We also share relevant internship and job opportunities. Our hope is to demystify the path by figuring out the barriers that students will face and any workarounds that exist.
PHD is a project of Immigrants Rising, which is a fiscally-sponsored project of Community Initiatives.
We believe that motivated undocumented people possess invaluable experience from having overcome significant obstacles and living in underserved communities. When allowed to put these experiences into practice through meaningful work, undocumented people can help meet the rising demand for a diverse healthcare workforce. We strive to convince graduate and professional schools to adopt nondiscriminatory policies and attitudes toward students with complex immigration circumstances.
The vision of Pre-Health Dreamers centers around the beliefs that immigration status should not exclude anybody from pursuing their dreams of higher education, careers, and contributing to their communities.
As a nationwide network of students, educators, and allies, PHD’s mission is to support undocumented pre-health students through serving as a Community of students and allies offering peer support and professional development, a Resource of unprecedented knowledge on related career pathways, an Advocate for increased access to health careers and health care for the undocumented community.
To build a continually expanding Community of like-minded individuals to connect, share resources, knowledge, and support each other through online list-servs, social networks, and an independent website, allowing for communication, guidance, and relationship building.
Serve as a Resource for students, educators, and allies upon assessing specific needs through surveys and interviews. We will develop materials such as resource guides, frequently-asked-questions, policy briefs, and databases of schools with supportive policies and internship/volunteering opportunities.
Push for Institutional Change by collaborating with concerned health professionals, institutions, and professional associations as well as attorneys and policy makers to find more effective ways to support and create pathways for students. We will advocate for more DREAMer-friendly policies at reluctant institutions and raise awareness of the issue for the general public and concerned entities by organizing educational webinars and presentations.
Provide Professional Development by sharing and actively seeking volunteer, internship, and employment opportunities relevant to fields of interest. Advising and mentoring for students will help guide them toward success.
Promote Community Service as a venue for undocumented youth to call upon their perspectives and experiences to begin and/or continue contributing to their communities.