Jaime Ballesteros’ parents taught him the value and importance of getting the best education possible. This value meant that when his father lost his job and his work visa, the Philippines-born Ballesteros became an undocumented immigrant. Ballesteros eventually received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status. This philosophy also led Ballesteros to graduate school at LMU.
In 2015, Ballesteros was one of nine “DACAmented Teachers” to be honored by the White House as a national “Champion of Change” for his high school chemistry teaching work in Watts. Ballesteros traveled to the nation’s capital for the ceremony, where he met fellow teachers, the secretary of education and other dignitaries.
“I teach for my students because I see myself in their struggles,” Ballesteros says. “I also teach for their parents, because I know that they made the same sacrifices that my parents did to ensure that their children are able to access the opportunities and resources that are available in our country.”
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