Undocumented Students Services Coordinator
I came to the United States at the age of 12 from Lima, Perú. As young as I was, I knew that once our visas expired our status in this country would change. Culture shock is a thing! I learned that we differ, even if we all spoke the same language. My education was challenging because of an oppressive system that made us work twice as hard to prove that we deserve to be in "regular" classes. I was always placed at the very bottom and somehow that system continued to fail us knowing that we could perform like any other U.S born students. Without knowing what life had for me I enrolled at a community college and miserably failed my first semester. I knew that we came here with a Dream, with a vision of pursuing better education and I knew that I was more than just a GPA or test. After 3 years I returned to college with the support of my parents and without a penny in my pocket. I was challenged again by the lack of financial resources and at a time that DACA did not exist, neither the CA Dream Act. My family helped me to pay for classes and books, even though we could only afford no more than 1 or 2 classes at the time. I decided to challenge my biggest enemy, it was not the system that continued to fail me, it was not my status, it was ME. I had to do it for myself first. Once the DACA and the CA Dream Act became a reality I took on a full-time schedule of classes and made the Dean's List on multiple occasions, I even became a Scholar-Athlete as Captain of Fullerton's College Men's tennis team. I knew that I had it but I had to overcome my biggest enemy. I decided to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona and pursue a bachelors in Spanish with emphasize in Latin-American Literature and being the rebel I was, I decided to become the President of the Undocumented Student organization at Cal Poly Pomona, DEPIE. We fought to establish resources for our Undocumented Students, the coordinator position for Undocumented Students Services was established at the end of the year through the hard work of Faculty, Staff, and Students who worked tirelessly to make this happen. My goal was to set the ground for the new generations to continue the advocacy efforts at our institution. I realized that Higher Education and Social Justice was what I wanted to pursue. My journey had to continue outside of Cal Poly Pomona. Graduate school was on my mind but I knew that If I wanted to have more opportunities I needed to prepare and challenge whoever I needed to, Yes I am a rebel and always will be. I was able to be accepted into all the master's programs I applied to. Today I am happy to say that I recently earned my Masters of Science in College Counseling and I serve as Coordinator of Undocumented Student Services (USS) at Cal Poly Pomona. As the second Coordinator of the USS at Cal Poly Pomona, I have the pleasure to serve over 800 students here on campus and serve as a voice to the students. My education is not quite complete, I still have hope to be admitted into a Doctoral program within the next 1-2 years. I am very thankful to those who have paved the way for many of us and is our responsibility to fight for the new generations. Todos los éxitos que tengo se los dedico a mis padres y hermano. To my mentors and people who have supported me along the way, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. To my community, Cultura, Paz, Amor y Justicia!