Growing up I was so excited to be an adult. In elementary school, I knew I wanted to go to UCLA and become an engineer. That changed in when primary school started. Everyday there was something in the news about undocumented people getting deported. After the 2007 Mcarthur Park Maylee, I grew a fear of being deported and i neglected my academics. My status consumed my mental health. I felt lonely, depressed and life felt unfair. I wasted my schools years worrying about my place in the world and I eventually dropped out.Luckly, I had used the resources my high school offered and I borrowed their cameras. This was the most beneficial thing for my mental health and I owe my career to that. I took an interest in photography and started doing work in design.While helping a friend record a video for a school project. I met an undocumented community of leaders, activists and artists through the organization IYCLA. Being able to connect with successful leaders and professionals made me feel less lonely in the world and inspired me to reach my goals without fear.I’ve worked on freelance gigs for a the past 5 years and eventually gathered a portfolio for web design, photography and creative content that got me a position as a creative director at a small media agency.I have my desk in an office and I go to work feeling blessed to be in a position I never imagined I would be in. I’m proud to have reached this level of success while being undocumented and I hope my story can inspire anyone in the same situation regardless of their education achievements.I hope to teach design one day and be in a place to offer people in my community resources that can inspire creativity and promote mental wellness through art.
What the Undocuprofessionals means to you?
Having a community is very important. While growing up as an undocumented teenager, the world felt very distant and lonely. It wasn’t until I met and connected with professionals like me that I felt like I wasn’t alone. Being an Undocumented Professional makes me proud to be part of a resilient and successful community.
Message for Undocumented Students and Professionals
Tip 1. Take advantage of resources offered at school, programs or classes. Use resources to develop your skills. Accept requests and opportunities that helped gain experience.Tip 2. Don’t be afraid to reach out to undocumented professionals for advise :)