It's hard for me to imagine living anywhere other than Colorado. I grew up in Aurora, and I love the outdoors.
My favorite place to ski is Copper Mountain, where I've been going since I was a kid, and my favorite hiking spot is the Flatirons at Boulder, where you can climb to the very top and sit under this little arc of a rock and see all of the city and the mountains.
But now I'm afraid of losing this life.
I have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a program that gives undocumented young people who came to this country as children temporary permission to work and live here. President Donald Trump has terminated the program, saying it's the responsibility of Congress to find an alternative.
Now I'm depending on the Dream Act, a bill that would give people like me a path to citizenship. If it doesn't pass, I could lose my ability to work and could even be deported.
That's why I'm asking my representative, Congressman Mike Coffman, to use his power to pass this bill now and make sure the nearly 17,300 young people with DACA in Colorado can continue working and contributing to the only home we know.
DACA made my life today possible. I was born in Mexico City, and my family came to Aurora when I was 1 year old. In many ways, my life was like any other kid here. I was on a cheerleading team for young kids, and I played volleyball starting in Laredo Middle School.
I never knew I was undocumented.
In high school, I filled out the paperwork for DACA, but I didn't fully understand the consequences of my immigration status.
Then when it was time to apply for college, a guidance counselor told me that I wouldn't be eligible for federal financial aid. I was shocked and heartbroken.
Still, right away, my DACA gave me the protection to speak out. I talked to admissions officials and scholarship administrators about my status and figured out a way to attend the University of Colorado at Denver.
I'm a naturally shy person, but at school, I became president of CU DREAMers, a campus organization for undocumented students and allies, and I also have a job at the Office of Undocumented Student Services. I work hard to try to create community here and make our students feel safe.
I also work as a certified nurse assistant in a rehabilitation center for elderly people and do volunteer work through my sorority, Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority Inc. - feeding the homeless at Thanksgiving and preparing baskets of food for Christmas.
I'm majoring in public health, and I hope to someday get my Ph.D. and help increase access to basic health care for marginalized communities.
I've spent years leading the way for others to show them they can succeed - but what if I let them down? What if I can't accomplish anything and neither can they?
Ultimately, all we want to do is have the opportunity to work, make our parents, brothers and sisters proud, build a better world for our children and contribute to our communities in a way that will better America.
I would like to say to Congressman Coffman: I have been part of this community for 19 years.
It has made me who I am, and I am giving back in every way I know how. I and the 17,300 DACA recipients in this state need your support. Congressmen, we are hard workers who pay our taxes and contribute to the only home we know. We're service providers, we're moms and dads, we're students, coworkers and neighbors. We are part of this place, and people here need us. Please use your power to pass the Dream Act now. Time for people like me is running out.
Daniela Gomezcastro is president of the University of Colorado Denver DREAMers, a campus organization for undocumented students and allies. She also works at the university's Office of Undocumented Student Services.