Francisco’s Story

From Aquinas Center director, Bethany J. Welch, Ph.D.:

I have been involved in community development work for about fifteen years now. Most days, you labor for a vision you haven’t realized yet. You invest in a possibility that seems just out of reach. Then, every once in a while, you get to be part of someone’s story and it changes everything.

Two summers ago, I was working at my desk when I heard a voice ask several volunteers, “Do you know where Miss Bethany is?” Francisco entered my office with a polite greeting and then said firmly, “I need to go to Cristo Rey.”

That statement started us on a journey that included pages and pages of paperwork, finding a donor for Francisco’s DACA application fee, pro-bono attorneys, some last minute signatures around Christmas Eve, a tense visit to Homeland Security on a frosty morning in January, practice interviews, testing, more interviews, and finally, two important letters: one for working papers and one notifying him of acceptance to his dream high school.

1982101_156164767885788_2665998993811082873_nEach chapter of Francisco’s story involves engaged, compassionate people who lived their own unique callings. His teacher pointed him in the direction of the Aquinas Center. Lawyers from the Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, who operate a clinic at the center, filed his application. A volunteer basketball coach switched gears from the court to the classroom and drilled Francisco on interview skills.

Watch this video, produced by our partners at
the legal clinic, that tells a slice of Francisco’s story:


A Community of Grace from Timothy Fryett on Vimeo.

Then, decide how you can act. What can you share? Time or talent? Treasure? Sign up to work with incredible teens like Francisco. Help tutor his sisters so they can dream big too. Donate $465 so that one more student can apply for DACA. Call the White House and tell them that families like Francisco’s should have options.

Find your part in the story and join us.

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