Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences Embrey Human Rights Events Events

Embrey Human Rights Program alumnus, “My education was so that I could contribute to society.


Originally Posted: June 20, 2017

SMU alumnus José Manuel Santoyo was first inspired to channel his advocacy goals into a career of public service because of the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program. SMU is one of only seven universities in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree program. READ MORE:

Jose Manuel Santoyo

A Texas teacher strives to give back to the next generation

“My education was so that I could contribute to society.

My last year at Southern Methodist University I began working on an engaged learning fellowship. Because of that I was selected to be the commencement speaker for my graduation and represent almost 600 other students who would be graduating that day. In my speech, I thanked the faculty and staff at my university. I’ve had teachers who I’ve looked up to my whole life, who provided amazing educational opportunities regardless of the papers that I had or didn’t have.

I want to be able to work and I want to work in public service. In order to do that I would need to have DACA. I would need to have work authorization in this country. I feel like that’s what my education was for. My education wasn’t for me. My education was so that I could contribute to society. My education was so that I could give back to the community that has given me so much, to the country that has given me so much.

This year I hope that our Congress and our President work to find a permanent solution to provide us [DACA recipients] a pathway to citizenship, to give us an opportunity to use our education, to use everything what we’ve learned in order to give back, in order to contribute, in order to provide for ourselves and our families and our communities.

My name is Jose Manuel Santoyo. I was born in Michoacan, Mexico and came to the US when I was eight years old.” READ MORE