Undocumented Students Walk to Raleigh - myfoxcarolinas.com

Undocumented Students Walk to Raleigh

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Three undocumented students left Charlotte Monday morning to begin a long walk to Raleigh/

Elver Barrios, Jessica Contreras and Mary Espinosa left Monday morning on the nine-day journey.

Caroline Fountain explains why the students are walking

The students are making the walk along with the Latin American Coalition in order to rally for in-state tuition for undocumented students.

“I want to walk because I graduated from West Meck in 2009," said Elver Barrios with the Latin American Coalition. "I graduated without knowing what I was going to do with my life," said Elver.

“Every year, a lot of students graduate and don’t have the opportunity to go to college because we have to pay out-of-state tuition,” said Jessica Contreras, a high school senior.

Meet The Walkers:

We've been following this group of students for one day. Caroline Fountain is accompanying them on their walk to Raleigh. Their goal: in-state tuition for all-documented and undocumented students.

Here's a little background on each member.

-Elver Barrios is the unofficial leader of the group. He's a junior at Johnson C Smith University. Elver works at the Latin American Coalition as a community organizer. This is his first "caminata" or long walk.

He graduated from West Meck High School in 2009. Elver says he couldn't afford out-of-state tuition, so he did not attend college for 2.5 years. Finally, the 3.7 GPA student received a merit scholarship from the Johnson C Smith University.

He says this walk is for all the undocumented students who are going through the same thing he did: graduating high school with no possibility to go to college.

Currently in North Carolina, undocumented students are required to pay out-of-state tuition even after living in the state for several years and graduating from public high school. Those students don't qualify for state or federal aid. They also cannot get loans.

Digital Journalist Caroline Fountain is walking with them to document the journey. Follow her here: @FountainFOX46 and Caroline Fountain FOX46 (Facebook).

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