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Santa Maria Immigration Activist Wins White House Honors

A Santa Maria woman is back in town to speak about Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals advocacy and her award from the White House.

As a student at Santa Maria High School, Anahi Mendoza created the Dream Club to help connect undocumented students with resources to apply to college.

Mendoza is now a senior at Harvard University and has been recognized by the White House for her role in DACA.

She received the Champions of Change Award in June and delivered a speech on DACA to White House officials during last year’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at the White House.

After she graduates from Harvard in May, Mendoza plans to continue her advocacy work but remembers her roots in Santa Maria.

“This is a really small town but I feel like I’ve been able to do so much here,” said Mendoza.

“I think it’s important for people to know that there are a lot of successful students coming out of Santa Maria High School and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t had that experience.”

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