Hi everyone, I have the wonderful pleasure to introduce a wonderful new contributor to My Undocu Life!
Please, make her feel welcomed, Milly Aquije. I had the great privilege to meet Milly a few months ago but I already feel like I’ve known her for much longer. Milly will go above and beyond to make sure you’re doing well and offer her support in more ways than one. Read her intro below!
Hola a todxs!
I’m Peruvian by birth, brought by my courageous Madrecita at the age of 4. I’ve been living in New York for the past 28 going on 29 years this September. I’m grateful to my parents who have instilled in me the value to keep pushing forward to achieve my dreams and pursue higher education. I attended my local dream school CUNY Hunter College. I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Religion. With the help of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) which I received in 2013, I was able to get a better paying job and pay my way through a Masters in Professional Studies in Urban Ministry from Nyack College – Alliance Theological Seminary. Throughout my years in both undergraduate and graduate, I’ve had the amazing support of a faith community which not only showed me unconditional love and helped me financially to continue my education but challenged me to go beyond my personal mental borders in my undocumented experience. I am a firm believer of, “it takes a village to raise a child,” because I am who I am today due to the help of many and I’m forever grateful.
The catalyst moment that drove me to share my undocumented story was the results of the 2016 election, seeing the horrors physical, verbal, mental, and emotional turmoil of many as I worked on my alma mater’s campus.
Fall of 2016 was very significant for me as my hope for humanity started to severely falter. In my graduate class on American Christianity, I read about the atrocities of perpetuating racism, and reading it simultaneously in my Facebook timeline from Trump supporters pierced my heart. Pierced because of the blatant racism and the growing distrust of the White American community. Pierced to see those who professed unconditional love shouting for people to “go back to where you came from.”
Fast forward into the present, I am currently a single woman pastor in Reconcile Brooklyn on the road to receiving my license to minister from the Evangelical Covenant Church. I am also a speaker and life coach with my mission Hoping Greatly. A mission empowering others by sharing my immigration story which bridges faith and social justice, and encourages identity fortification and leadership development. If I’m not doing either, I can definitely be found with friends discovering a new margarita place, NYC eatery, and having karaoke fun!
I’m excited to share with all the My Undocu Life readers my story of coming out of the shadows, wrestling with faith, and learning the power of vulnerability!