FORT COLLINS, Colo. — When Amaranta Lopez Olivares was in middle school, she faked being excited about college. Her friends, teachers and counselors had started to talk about it even then. She was smart — she knew that — but college was out of reach.

It hit her then more than it ever had before, Lopez Olivares said, that she was an undocumented immigrant. She'd crossed the border with her mom when she was 8, moving from Mexico City to Colorado Springs.

Growing up, she struggled to accept who she was. She hated her accent and would work to pronounce her name without it.

“I felt different, I felt out of place,” Lopez Olivares said. “… I felt like I was facing barrier after barrier.”

So she faked zeal for higher education well into high school.

But then in 2013, her junior year, a law passed that allowed qualified students who were living in the country illegally to become eligible for in-state tuition in Colorado.

> Read more at the Fort Collins Coloradoan |

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