Dream It, Do It: Meet Do Something Awards Finalist Lorella Praeli [INTERVIEW]

Photo: (Do Something Awards)

Photo: (Do Something Awards)

We get excited every time the Do Something Awards come around, but this year’s show is going to be especially amazing. MTV Act favorite and nerd prom queen Sophia Bush is hosting the show, and stars like Lucy HaleKelly Osbourne, J. Cole, and Jennifer Hudson are scheduled to attend! The best part of the night, however, involves 5 young finalists who are in the running for $100,000 for their world-changing organizations.

All of the finalists are under 25 years old, which makes their accomplishments even more inspiring. Because you can help vote for the activist you want to win the $100,000, we wanted to introduce you to the do-gooders. We’ve interviewed each finalist, so read up, choose your favorite, and scroll down to the end to see how you can vote for your pick. Even if your choice doesn’t win, it’s not all bad: the four nominees who don’t take home the grand prize will receive a $10,000 community grant for their organizations!

After a car accident left her with only one leg, Lorella’s parents brought her to the United States so she would have a chance of receiving the best medical care and education possible. Lorella is a DREAMer who didn’t find out she was undocumented until she was applying for college. To fight for the rights of undocumented students, she founded a student group in Connecticut; now she serves as the Director of Advocacy and Policy at United We Dream, a national organization dedicated to earning rights for the 11 million DREAMers in the United States.

For more information on Lorella’s role model, what words she lives by, and more, check out the interview below.

ACT: Who is your Do Something role model?

LORELLA: My mother, Chela Praeli!

ACT: What is your favorite song to volunteer to?

LORELLA: “Can’t Hold Us Down” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

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Photo: Lorella speaks  about her experiences at a high school. (Norwalk Citizen Online)

 ACT: What are your words to live by?

LORELLA: “The truth shall set you free” and “When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall in meekly behind them.” – Howard Zinn

ACT: What do we need to know about your organization?

LORELLA: United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. We organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, and our current priority is to win citizenship for 11 million undocumented Americans and end senseless deportations.

ACT: How can someone reading this get involved with your organization?

LORELLA: Go to United We Dream, join a local Dream group and call your legislator and ask for a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented Americans and an end to senseless enforcement.

Lorella Praeli

Photo: (New Haven Register)

ACT: You wake up with a world-changing superpower. What is it? 

LORELLA: Ability to fly so I can bring my mom to Peru and back.

ACT: You wake up to a Tweet from your favorite celeb offering to help your cause. Who is it and why are you freaking out? 

LORELLA: I don’t follow any celebs, but let me give this a try: Lady Gaga, because her song “Born This Way” shows that she uplifts peoples’ humanity and embraces their identities.

For the first time ever, you can now vote for your favorite finalist via SMS. To vote for Lorella to win the $100,000 grand prize, text: LORELLA to 38383. You can learn more about how to help DREAMers at United We Dream and by checking out the action links below.

Tune in to the 2013 Do Something Awards on VH1 tonight at 8/7c.

take action

United We Dream

United We Dream

Join forces with the largest national immigrant youth-led organization working for citizenship & fair treatment for undocumented Americans

take action

Speak Up On Immigration

Speak Up On Immigration

Contact your representatives in Washington, and let them know how you feel about immigration reform.