Maria Gabriela (“Gaby”) Pacheco (Miami, Florida) is an immigrant rights leader. She gained national recognition in 2004 for her courageous advocacy of the DREAM Act and immigration reform. In 2005, she a Florida-based immigrant youth group advocating for in-state tuition for undocumented students. In 2010, with three other undocumented students, they led the Trail of Dreams, a four-month walk from Miami to Washington, DC to call attention to the plight of immigrant families under the threat of deportation. In 2012, as political director for United We Dream, she spearheaded the efforts that led to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In 1993, at the age of eight, Pacheco immigrated to the United States with her family from Guayaquil, Ecuador. They arrived with tourist visas and were unable to secure legal resident status. On April 22, 2013, Pacheco became the first undocumented Latina to testify in front of Congress, speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the urgent need for immigration reform. In 2015, she delivered The New School Commencement speech, where she received a Doctoral Degree in Humanities Honoris Causa. Pacheco was recently named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30: Education in 2015 and has also been recognized as one of 40 Under 40: Latinos in American Politics. In August 2015, Pacheco was profiled in Elle magazine alongside America Ferrera, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick and others for a feature production on the world’s most accomplished 30-year-old women. Gaby is the program director of the nation’s largest college success and scholarship fund, TheDream.US. She is also a board member of Define American and America’s Voice Education Fund. Participated in Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program Unlocking Latino Millennial Civic Potential.
Maria Gabriela (“Gaby”) Pacheco
2016 Ricardo Salinas Scholar, Ricardo Salinas Scholarship
Maria Gabriela (“Gaby”) Pacheco (Miami, Florida) is an immigrant rights leader.