Solally’s Tale Sways UConn

From The New Haven Independent article by Melissa Bailey:

The University of Connecticut has decided to reconsider its practice of excluding undocumented students from scholarships after learning the story of a New Haven valedictorian who had the courage to speak out.

The student, Solanlly Canas, an undocumented immigrant from Colombia, spoke out this year in stories in the Independent about her frustrating position: As the valedictorian of High School in the Community (HSC), she had the grades to win a special scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut. But as an undocumented immigrant, she was barred from receiving the money.

Solanlly, who’s 19, didn’t end up going to UConn. But her advocacy, combined with that of a New Haven state legislator, has prompted the university to reconsider its practice.

Solanlly [pronounced so•LAN•gee] and the legislator, state Rep. Roland Lemar, shared that news Thursday night at HSC’s graduation ceremony in Wooster Square Park. Sollanly delivered a valedictory address with her friend Chastity Berrios, HSC’s other top senior. Lemar gave the keynote speech for the ceremony, which marked a capstone of not just academic careers but a social justice mission.

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