Traveling far from home to meet with our Georgia representatives in Washington, D.C., is a daunting task, but it’s worth it when there’s so much on the line. I am a Dreamer, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipient, and an aspiring cardiovascular surgeon. However, in order to continue my education to realize this dream, I need a permanent solution to my current immigration status.

It’s no secret that Georgia is facing a severe health care provider shortage, making it difficult, particularly in rural Georgia, to seek medical attention. I would love to help shorten this skills gap, and already work as a CNA/EKG with a non-profit clinic called Helping Hands Outreach, which provides low-cost health care to uninsured or underinsured populations.

However, in order to do so, Congress must pass a long-term legislative solution for Dreamers, something that the President called on Congress to do nearly a year and a half ago. I’m headed to D.C. this week to share my story with our Georgia members of Congress, explain to them just how crucial we are to our state, and just how much we want to contribute. This is my home. I hope they listen.

Cinthya Moran Leal