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Tam was born in Germany after her parents were forced to flee Vietnam. She immigrated to the U.S. and grew up in Garden Grove, California. She graduated from Santiago High School, attended Santa Ana College, and transferred to UCLA, where she earned a bachelor's degree in American Literature and Culture. In 2007, Tam testified before a House subcommittee on immigration and advocated on behalf of the proposed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. As a doctoral student in the American Civilization program at Brown University, she helped found the Brown Immigrants' Rights Coalition. Tam was an aspiring filmmaker, and produced several short films, including the acclaimed documentary, "Lost and Found."
Cinthya emigrated from Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles, California where she attended and graduated from Garfield High School. She pursued higher education at UCLA, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English World Literature and Spanish Literature, with a minor in Mexican Studies. At UCLA, Cinthya was a founding member of Improving Dreams, Equality, Access and Success (IDEAS), one of the nation's first and largest undocumented student advocacy groups. In 2007, she became the first undocumented student admitted to Columbia University's School of Public Health. Cinthya's dream was to attend medical school and eventually return to her community as a physician.
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