Alexis Meza loves art and her latest work focuses on a footprint, something she says represents her journey.
"Life has been very... different," said Meza, who grew up playing like any other child.
"Playing who could be (which) Power Rangers, (like) the pink one, or whatever. It was just (about) being a child."
Even-though her circumstances were different, "I'm originally from Veracruz, Mexico."
Meza says life wasn't easy in Mexico as her family struggled at times to put food on the table.
"My dad wanted a better chance and so he was like 'I'm going to risk it and go (to the United States)," said Meza, adding he, "wanted to provide a better future for (his) kids and wife."
In elementary school, Meza, her mother, and brother moved to Texas to join her father. A few years later, they moved to Lancaster, Ky, a town she'd never heard of for a life that was anything but certain.
"It's been difficult. I came here as a "Dreamer," meaning I am undocumented," described Meza.
Lancaster became her home. She made friends and says she described herself as acting and even thinking like an American, adding that all she felt she was missing was a piece of paper that solidified her status.
It wasn't until her Junior year in high school that Meza finally started to understand her situation.
"Everybody was starting to take the driver's ed class and (asking), 'How come you don't have your permit?" recalled Meza, saying she answered, "I was like, 'I don't know. I'm undocumented."
She admitted at that time she didn't fully understand the immigration system. Eventually, people started to tease about having her and her family deported, but for Meza it was no joke. She recalled being very scared that someone would actually call the police or the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
"You feel very pushed back, and in the shadows. I felt oppressed."
Last Friday, Meza like many others felt a shift in their future.
"It makes no sense to expel talented young people, who for all intents and purposes are Americans," said President Barack Obama in a special address.
The President's plan will allow illegal immigrants younger than thirty to avoid deportation, if they can prove they came to the U.S. before they turned sixteen, finished high school, and have no criminal history. Some estimate that this move will help roughly 800-thousand people.
Meza said when she found out about the new policy she was overjoyed. While it's not an immunity or an amnesty program, like Meza and other "Dream Act" supporters had hoped for, Meza says it does offer immigrants a type of work visa. Which means she can help her family financially and give back to the country she loves.
"In every way possible, (I want) to give back to this country because we've gotten so much from it. I feel like I have two homes!" exclaimed Meza.
For the first time, this young woman says she feels like she's stepped out of the shadows and is allowed to dream about her future. Meza just finished at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College and will attend the University of Kentucky as a Junior, in the fall.