MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Two Mid-South students hope they can show the country the importance of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Seniors Eddy Gonzalez and Silvia Vazquez of Overton High School went to Washington D.C. hoping to specifically sway Congressmen and Senators to keep DACA in place.
The Obama-era program is in limbo as President Donald Trump continues working to unravel programs and policies put in place by Obama's administration. Trump announced in September that his administration would look to phase out DACA starting in March 2018 if Congress didn't do anything about the program.
Gonzalez and Vazquez are two of the students competing in the STAR Events this year.
STAR stands for Students Taking Action with Recognition, and the STAR Events are an annual competition where students are recognized for proficiency and achievement in one of 33 categories ranging from culinary arts to hospitality, tourism, and recreation.
Gonzalez and Vazquez are competing in advocating.
"Many people don't understand what DACA is, so this is the main goal: to create awareness for it," Vazquez said.
Vazquez competed last year and her team took home a bronze medal, but this year she took on a topic near and dear to her heart.
She is a DACA recipient. She was born in Mexico, but her parents brought her to America when she was very young.
"I've been here since I was one year old, so it helped me a lot through getting my driver's license, helping me get my job, also helped me focus on school, and I don't have to worry about being safe here," Vazquez said.
Vazquez and Gonzalez said this year's competition is a chance for them to do something from the heart and hopefully sway votes in Washington.
They will return home Friday and wait to see if they qualify for the state level of the competition, which happens in January.