Moved to the US at the age of 18. I went to adult school, learned English and looked for opportunities to go to college. While I was in community college I used to sell stuff at the sweetmeets to have some income and help my family. I thought I was an AB 540 student until at the 4 year university I was classified as International Student. Knocking on different doors I was able to get a scholarship that helped me to cover the costs of university. It was there when I got involved with organizing undocumented students. From 2006 - 2009 I was part of student organization at CSULA helping undocumented students to continue with their higher education. DACA came into my life until 2015, three years after it was announced. It was here when I realized that the real change doesn't come with a SSN or a card, the real change comes with a change of mentality. The real change is done by you, as individual who really wants to make a difference in your life. As time went by I have worked as accountant and have had the opportunity to own a clothing store. Today I work as accountant in the non profit sector, and I also do consulting on my side. Life can be ugly or beautiful, depending on what side we see of it. It is when I took responsibility of my life when I began to live and not depend on a legislation that can 'save' my life. Today I am an accountant with ten years of experience in the non profit sector, I am a public notary with the state of California, I do consulting on my side as Radiate Consulting and continue preparing myself for the next level in grad school.
What the Undocuprofessionals means to you?
I am moving away from the term that involves Undocu ... it is labeling us with limitations. At least I see it that way. Why not call your self an Immigrant Professional? or a Latino Professional? The word Undocu is so overrated that instead of lifting us, it is labeling students with limited beliefs.
Message for Undocumented Students and Professionals
Number one Rule is to do your research. When considering a new career or starting a new project always do your research about the pros, cons of the career. It is also important to consider the monetary reward you will receive once you have completed the training and if it is worth the investment of time and money. Remember that as DACA/Undocumented DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY TO WASTE TIME. Every minute, every second counts and your decisions must be well thought. Make several plans, In my life I have 5 different plans. If plan A doesnt work, I am moving into plan B, and if that doesnt work either, I have a plan C in place. It is not about thinking that you will loose, but about setting yourself for success. You should be able to shift gears and change plans according to the circumstances. Finally, remember that "too much analysis causes paralysis" keep moving!!! Take risks! make mistakes! You will not have failures, but learning experiences. Life is now and right here!