New York State Youth Leadership Council

My Name Is Sara Martinez. Yes, I Am Undocumented


Mar 12


In honor of Coming Out of the Shadows Week, we will be highlighting a story a day. Please keep an eye out for them. If you would like to submit your story, email

I was born in Medellin, Colombia, but sometimes that doesn’t really matter, because I’m part of a larger category; undocumented.

I came to this country when I was seven years old, I was oblivious of the fact that it would take over 10 years for me to see my family again; my cousins who I miss more than anyone, my beautiful aunt, my beloved grandparents, my aunt’s daughters who were born some three years ago and I get to see only before I open my refrigerator door. In spite of the fact that I truly yearn to see my country once more, coming here has been the most rewarding journey.

I left a country, a city, a neighborhood that despite my incredible longing and attachment to, was not able to offer me the best education, was not able to offer me the protection from the violence and disorders that constantly surrounded me. No outside force was able to protect me from becoming the victim of a stray bullet at the age of seven. It’s not an event that I brag about, but an event I tell numerous times to shine some common sense into those who believe staying in my country could have been an option for my family; for my dad, whose life story in Colombia he still refuses to tell.

I am currently a junior in Forest Hills High School. Although I recognize the obstacles that have been set up for me because of my status, I am also conscious of the fact that college and any goal I set for myself is feasible. In 2010 my sister was accepted into a leading university, she is also undocumented and has become my greatest inspiration; she is someone who needs and and who deserves to be considered an attribute to this country, to her country, like thousands of other undocumented youth. Currently, one of my goals is to attend a private university and major in economics, a field I would genuinely love to learn more about and use as a tool to give back to the country that has provided for me.

With the help of the NYSYLC, I am currently working in creating my high school’s own D.R.E.A.M Team; the importance of reaching out to students in my school who are facing the same issues as undocumented youth, and the importance of raising awareness abut the immigration rights movement is something that I have become adamant about and hopefully can succeed in creating.

I love this country I love this city just like anyone else would. I strive every single day in hopes that I would be given the opportunity to give back to the country that has taught me so much, and nurtured so many of my dreams.

My name is Sara Martinez. Yes, I am undocumented, but I’m not afraid to shout it out.

  • claudia

    Yo te conosco,tal ves no tan bien como a tu madre ,pero lo unico que se que eres una nina maravillosa y que se que cualquier cosa que te propongas los vas a cumplir yo tambien fuy indocumentada y aunque lo deje de ser yo se todo los perjuicios de la sociedad ,solo un concejo no dejes de luchar nunca por tus suenos y tus derechos porque tienes mucho que dar a este pais te quiere mucho y te admira claudia Shiffer.