DACA recipient becomes Rhodes scholar
© Getty Images

A recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is among the 32 people selected as members of the latest U.S. Rhodes Scholar class.

Jin Kyu Park, the DACA recipient, is currently an undergraduate student at Harvard University studying molecular and cellular biology. He is the first DACA recipient to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, which provides full funding for students to attend the University of Oxford.

ADVERTISEMENT

This was also the first year that DACA recipients were eligible to be selected as Rhodes Scholars, according to the Rhodes Trust.

DACA is an Obama-era program that allows immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country without risk of deportation. The Trump administration, however, has worked to end DACA, a move that has been met with several legal challenges.

Jin Kyu Park previously wrote in an editorial for The New York Times that DACA "fundamentally changed how I envision my place in the US," noting that it allowed him to enroll at Harvard, start his own nonprofit, work in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's office and visit the White House. 

His nonprofit, HigherDreams, Inc., helps undocumented immigrants applying to college. He is also the managing editor of the Harvard Undergraduate Research Journal. 

He is planning to pursue masters degrees in migration studies and global health science and epidemiology at Oxford.