Ana Zamora, a 21-year-old Dallas college student and part-time hotel receptionist, got an unexpected seat on a national stage this week. First Lady Michelle Obama invited her to her husband’s State of the Union speech in Washington, D.C. Zamora is a “dreamer." She was brought to this country from Mexico as a toddler and she’s set to graduate from Northwood University’s Cedar Hill campus this spring.
For this week’s Friday Conversation, Zamora talks with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, about the big night and how she became a “dreamer.”
Interview Highlights: Ana Zamora…
…On being able to attend the State of the Union address:
“It was amazing from the beginning to the end. I still reminisce about it, it’s still fresh in my mind. It was a very lovely experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
…On how she got invited to the event:
“I wrote a letter to President Obama back in September 2014, and in the letter, I expressed my story and what I expected from the future and how grateful I was to be a recipient of DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals].”
…On her memories of Mexico:
“I don’t [have any memories of Mexico]. I wish I did. Mexico is obviously my home country and I would love to visit one day, but this is my country and this is what I know, this is where I grew up.”
…On how it feels to be on the receiving end of negative comments:
“It’s hard to hear. It’s hard to hear that there are still people that do not see my work ethic and do not see how much of an asset I am to the United States.”
Ana Zamora will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood University.