A Winter day turned revolutionary
CAUSE Newsletter Volume 1
Mia Mendoza ’23 | January 2023
The Coalition of Advocates for Undocumented Students’ Education (C.A.U.S.E) is celebrating its fourth year anniversary as an organization! The origin story to this group of exceptionally passionate high school students began on a winter day in December.
Lane Tech College Prep High School’s undocumented student support club hosted a guest speaker. In this meeting, the idea about how incredible it would be to connect with other clubs with the same mission–expanding undocumented student support. The speaker shared that other clubs existed and offered to connect them.
The day after Christmas, on a snowy day, students from across Chicago Public Schools (CPS) arrived at the Chicago Public School Central Office in downtown Chicago. Student representatives from their clubs gathered around a table to discuss their goals and actions. They connected on the hardships, struggle, and fulfillment that came with realizing their missions.
It was then that students knew they could count on each other for support. As a group, they left unsure about what would come of their meetings together, but they were ready to set forth on efforts together. The group of student advocates decided to meet every month.
From there the Coalition of Advocates for Undocumented Students’ Education was born. CAUSE has accomplished so much since, including–lobbying for the passing of the IL Rise Act, creating a mission statement to guide organizational work, carrying out annual anonymous surveys to understand undocumented student needs, presenting a list of recommendations to the CPS district for how to better support students, and more.
As something to look forward to–CAUSE is in the process of filming a more in depth story of how CAUSE came to be! With special insight from a founding member and president, the video will give an inside look into the powerful beginning of the four-year old organization!
Who are we
The Coalition of Advocates for Undocumented Students’ Education was founded on December 26th of 2018. Abbreviated to CAUSE, it exists to support, empower, grow, educate, and bring together clubs representing undocumented immigrants across CPS high schools.
Together, we strive to innovate constructive solutions to break down social obstacles faced by the undocumented community. CAUSE advocates for all students regardless of their legal status.
CAUSE is a high school student-led organization, driven by actionable agendas and made possible by students who meet on Saturdays twice a month. Student representatives from across the Chicago Public School district join each other to expand on the CAUSE mission.
Hear from the president of CAUSE
As an undocumented student, CAUSE has changed the way I view the world. Throughout my life, I never received the resources that a student needs to succeed, so when I found this space my life changed completely. I first found out about CAUSE through the DREAMers and Advocates club at Lane Tech. After becoming the CAUSE ambassador for my school, I truly involved myself into the space and the organization that was going on. CAUSE has allowed me to expand my leadership skills and has allowed me to use my voice to fight for what I believe. CAUSE has shown me community, strength, and most importantly CAUSE has given me a second family. Through this organization, I have been able to speak with many talented youth of Chicago. Through these voices I have been able to put into perspective how hard it is for people in marginalized communities such as mine to be successful. Through CAUSE I hope to make a difference in the lives of the Chicago youth and allow them to thrive and share their creativity with the world. I cannot thank CAUSE enough for what it has given me, but I can’t take all the credit. I might be the president of this organization, but behind me is a team full of students that have been there for me through this journey. Because of this organization, I have been able to find my passions and figure out what I want to do with my life. CAUSE has given me a purpose, and I strive to fulfill the leadership role which my peers have allowed me to take on in order to fight for my community.
CAUSE has a website that houses their resource guide. The guide provides information on scholarships, services, and resources for undocumented students.
Expanding Undocu-Support is a guide for how to establish an undocumented student support club in high school. This guide was developed by CAUSE members who have been active members in developing the clubs at their school. It is a resource to help students in the initial stages of starting up a club.
Connect with us
CAUSE website: causechicago.org
Email: [email protected]