Empowering undocumented young people in their pursuit of college, career and citizenship
Photo by: Diana K. Arreola (DKA Photography)
Photo by: Diana K. Arreola (DKA Photography)
JOSE IVAN ARREOLA Training & Community Relations Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jose was born in Durango, Mexico and came to the United States when he was four years old. With the unconditional love and support of his family and the guidance of many mentors along the way, Jose went on to study Political Science, History and Ethnic Studies at Santa Clara University — where he received a full scholarship. During his college career, Jose was an outspoken leader on campus around issues of racism, inequality, and oppression. Jose's work culminated as the Executive Director of the Multicultural Center of Santa Clara University. Upon graduation, Jose was trained as a community organizer for racial and economic justice by the Center for Third World Organizing in Oakland, CA. As an undocumented immigrant himself, Jose utilizes his experiences to help empower and support other undocumented immigrants across the country.
Kemi Bello explores storytelling - about ideas, people and community - through the intersections of words, data, design and technology. Kemi was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and migrated to the U.S. at the age of six. Upon learning she was undocumented in high school, she joined the immigrant rights movement as a community organizer. Kemi has also conducted research and policy analysis for the labor rights movement and fundraised at the intersection of arts & culture and social change. She is a math and economics alumni of the University of Houston and aspiring data scientist. She is a firm believer in the need to explore the complexities and nuances of experience of migrant communities in the United States, and seeks to push back against one-dimensional narratives. In her nonexistent spare time, she is working on perfecting her sea salt brownie recipe.
Angela's experiences being undocumented for 16 years, including throughout her undergraduate career, have ignited her passion for working with undocumented students and developing campus resources. Most recently, Angela worked as the Director of the Undocumented Student Program at UCLA, which served over 500 undocumented students, spawned new programs, and built resources across campus departments to better serve undocumented students. Angela's institutional advocacy also includes leading University of California system-wide efforts to increase awareness about policies that impact undocumented students and guiding universities across the nation to develop support programs for undocumented youth. Angela completed her B.A. in Psychology from UC Irvine and received her M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA Graduate School of Education with an emphasis on Higher Education. She enjoys meeting people, art therapy, biking, comfort food from all cultures, and storytelling.
Rodrigo immigrated to Arizona in 2000 with his mother and sister to reunite with his father, who had begun their family's journey to the U.S. three years earlier. He started school in the U.S. in the fourth grade and failed miserably in his first semester due to his limited English skills. By the end of 5th grade, however, Rodrigo had become one of the top students in his class. In 2008, Rodrigo was accepted at Santa Clara University, where he received a full scholarship. In the summer before his senior year, Rodrigo received the Donovan Fellowship to work with E4FC’s Outreach Team. He enjoyed the experience and community immensely, and continued the following year. In June 2012, Rodrigo graduated from SCU with a B.A. in Philosophy and Economics, and received the Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. Award for "exemplifying the ideals of Jesuit education, especially being a whole person of solidarity in the real world and having the courage and faith to build a more just and humane world." Rodrigo hopes to obtain a PhD in political philosophy and economics in the future.
For more than 20 years, Katharine has worked to enhance arts and education opportunities for low-income and minority youth. She has developed innovative programs in schools, housing projects, and detention facilities. Her artistic and educational work with youth has been exhibited and published widely in college textbooks, literary anthologies, magazines, and national newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and The Harvard Educational Review.
Outside of her work with E4FC, Katharine serves on University of California President Janet Napolitano's Advisory Group on Undocumented Students, the Leadership Committee of the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), and the National Advisory Board of TheDream.US. She has also served as an advisor to the Nelson Fund at The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, where she oversaw the fund's philanthropic investments in arts and education from 2001 to 2014.
Katharine was born and raised in San Francisco, and received her BA from Yale University and MFA from the University of Oregon. She is the proud descendant of Chinese immigrants, who first came to the U.S. in the 1860s to work in the gold mines of California and later during the restrictive Chinese Exclusion Acts, mother of Anna Dido Nordeson, and partner of Kjell Nordeson.
FRANCISCO GONZALEZ Legal Services Training Supervisor
Born and raised in Cuba, Francisco obtained his law degree at the University of Las Villas, graduating as one of the top students in the school. For several years, he worked as a civil litigator and taught civil litigation, civil procedures and administrative procedure at the University of Santa Clara in Cuba. After joining a Catholic political opposition movement and becoming legal adviser to the bishop of Santa Clara, Francisco was forced to leave Cuba and become an immigrant and asylum seeker in Sweden. He later immigrated to the United States, initially working as a janitor while enrolled full-time at City College. In 1998, Catholic Charities of San Francisco hired Francisco as an immigration counselor and promoted him to the coordinator position of their Refugee & Immigrant Services Program just eight months later. Francisco is a Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representative, which authorizes him to represent and advocate for clients at all possible levels within the immigration legal system. Francisco has represented dozens of asylum seekers and clients seeking suspensions of deportation and/or cancellations of removal. He is also a writer for the El Heraldo Catolico and appears as a weekly guest on the Telemundo channel. Francisco believes that "caring deeply for the clients' legal problems is the soul and essence of a successful legal practice."
Alejandra is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she received a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management, and Planning. She is a first generation college student and the first woman in her family to earn a graduate degree, obtaining a Master of Social Work at the University of Washington. As the daughter and family member of former and current undocumented immigrants, Alejandra learned early on about the injustice of the U.S. immigration system, which has led her to work to on issues directly impacting immigrants and on larger systematic changes. She has been a student organizer, organized social workers, and worked at immigrant serving non-profit organizations. Prior to joining E4FC, Alejandra worked as a Program Manager at Mission Asset Fund, managing Lending Circles for Dreamers and other social loan programs. Alejandra spends her free time doing social justice organizing, traveling, going to concerts, and training for half marathons.
Rocio was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She immigrated to the United States at the age of nine along with her parents and her younger sister. She grew up in Oakland, California where she had the privilege to attend a College Preparatory high school. Thanks to her optimism, the support of her family, organizations like College Track and the resources available at UC Santa Cruz, her college experience was a positive one. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Feminist Studies. At UC Santa Cruz she interned at the Education Opportunity Programs AB540 Student Services where she supported and mentored college students. Now that she has graduated, she is eager to continue supporting students and ensure that they do not miss important opportunities that can lead to their success in the future.
Photo by: Diana K. Arreola (DKA Photography)
Yadira Sánchez Nájera
Yadira was born in Tlaxcala, Mexico. At the age of six she immigrated to the United States to reunite with her father who lived in Texas. After a year of living in Dallas Texas, the family moved to Pico Rivera, California. However, Yadira has lived half of her life between Mexico City and California. This transnational experience has made her conscious of the social, political, and economic impact, of immigration. Yadira is the oldest of five and first in her family to graduate from High School. Recently, she graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Latina/o Studies. During her time at SF State she was an officer for Improving Dreams, Equity, Access and Success a student organization that advocates for AB-540/undocumented students. In the last four summers Yadira has worked at Aim High, running a summer program for under resourced middle school youth from the Mission District. It is her desire to pursue a Master’s Program in Public Policy to continue advocating for equitable and humane policies that will address systematic oppressions in education and immigration.
Dean was born in the Philippines. He arrived in the United States with his mother at the age of 12. As an undocumented immigrant, Dean never disclosed his status to anyone prior to being involved with immigrant rights because of the stigma associated with being undocumented. In the end of 2010, Dean was apprehended by Immigration Customs Enforcement and was sent to an immigration detention facility in Florence, AZ. Upon release, Dean was put into deportation proceedings. This life-changing experience led Dean to become involved with immigrant rights-related issues. Dean became an outspoken advocate against collaborations between ICE and local law enforcement by sharing his experiences of being detained. He became a leader within ASPIRE, the first pan-Asian undocumented youth group in the nation, and California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, the coalition of thirteen undocumented youth groups throughout California. In May 2014, Dean obtained his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Notre Dame de Namur and received the Political Science and History Department’s University Mission Award. Outside of immigrant rights, Dean is an avid cyclist and races cyclocross. He hopes to someday participate in the prestigious randoneé Paris-Brest-Paris.
JAY SHERWIN Invest in the Dream Co-Director Email: email@example.com
Jay Sherwin is an independent consultant who works with foundations and other non-profit organizations to develop strategic plans, design programs and initiatives, implement rigorous outcome evaluations and improve communications. Before launching his consulting practice, Jay spent twenty years as a grantmaker for five national, regional and community foundations, specializing in efforts to promote college access and completion for students from low-income and under-represented communities. From 2007 to 2010, he served as Vice President for Programs at College Access Foundation of California; during that time, the foundation awarded over $50 million in grants, supporting more than 20,000 scholarships for low-income and first generation college students, including hundreds of undocumented immigrant students.
Jay is working with E4FC to design and launch its "Invest in the Dream" initiative, which offers matching grants to scholarship providers nationwide to encourage them to create or expand college scholarship opportunities for undocumented students.
Tommy identifies as trans*undocu Polish-Californian. In the spring of 2015, after completing his senior honors thesis on the intersectionality of transgender and undocumented (trans*undocu) identities in the U.S., Tommy graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. In 2014-2015, Tommy served as one of E4FC's Legal Advocates. In June 2015, he joined E4FC's staff as Legal Services Coordinator and, soon after, obtained his Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Level 1 Accredited Representative status.
When Tommy arrived to the United States on a tourist visa at the age of eight, he could not have imagined the obstacles and opportunities that America would afford him. Today he has Withholding of Removal (WOR) status, a documented undocumented status. But before WOR, Tommy faced the daily fear and isolation specific to a trans*undocu experience in the U.S. Although his struggle of borders (within his own body and that of nations) bruised his hope, Tommy persevered and is grateful for his life experiences: for the time he was homeless, for the years he spent working under the table, and for transitioning into the man he is today.
Tommy is passionate about contributing knowledge to and increasing visibility of LGBTQ and undocumented communities. His future law school education will help in this pursuit, but until then he is grateful to work with the E4FC community whom he admires and considers family. Speaking of family, Tommy’s life is made richer by his life partner and beagle who love him unconditionally and he them.
Mari is a public interest lawyer dedicated to cultivating our next generation of attorneys, focusing on the talents of undocumented pre-law students. A graduate of Harvard Law School and Pomona College, Mari was a panelist at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 2013 national conference, co-authoring its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals practice advisory. In 2010, Mari became the inaugural Face of AILA with her support of pro bono casework, and as a member of the Minnesota bar has limited her law practice to federal immigration law since 2003. Mari has been a public interest career counselor at Stanford, helping aspiring attorneys explore opportunities to create positive change throughout the world. Mari is most excited about being at E4FC because, “DREAMers have had to demonstrate unparalleled talent and resourcefulness to survive in our society. My colleagues at E4FC bring that same passion into our office and, as a result, are professionally addictive.