In a six-year span, former undocumented immigrant Angy Rivera went from hiding her citizenship status to helping other young immigrants navigate life in the United States without a visa. On April 7, 25-year-old Angy will receive the American Immigration Council’s 2016 Immigrant Youth Achievement Award for her dedication to this community.
The words “no le digas a nadie” defined her life for nearly two decades. Her mother warned that revealing her status as an undocumented immigrant would have consequences. But after Angy connected with like-minded people at the New York State Youth Leadership Council, she let the world know her real story, according to PRI.
Since then, Angy has channeled her energy into helping other undocumented youth, especially through her Ask Angy advice blog. Filmmaker Mikaela Shwer captured her activism through the feature-length documentary No le digas a nadie – words Angy knew well. The two women met in 2012 – the same year Angy learned she qualified for a U visa – and became friends in the process. And Mikaela has been so moved by Angy that she nominated her for the American Immigration Council award.
“I am constantly inspired by [Angy] and the entire community around her,” Shwer said. “Her resilience and the power she finds through sharing her story. People really respond to her.”
César Vargas – the first DREAMer allowed to practice law in New York City – will also receive an award at the 21st annual immigrant achievement awards.