Doctor of Physical Therapy
My name is Veronica Velasquez and I am a proud Filipina DACAmented immigrant. I recently received my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Currently, I work full time as a Licensed Physical Therapist in a hospital in South Los Angeles. I arrived to the US by plane using a tourist visa when I was 10 years old. I had no idea of the circumstances at the time. I was merely a child following her parents. Little did I know that my parent's decision to move to the United States would be one of the most surprising/longstanding challenges of my life. Despite all the difficulties of finding out I was undocumented in high school to being uncertain of how I was going to attain an education with my status, I knew I needed to forge through. My parents believed in the power of education; they instilled that same belief in me. My parents believed in the US and its ability to grant opportunities. It was my mission to honor my parent's sacrifice. So I went to community college for 4 years. I earned my Bachelors in Kinesiology at CSUSB with a minor in gender/sexuality studies. By pure grit/hard work and a DACA status, I was accepted into Western University of Health Sciences where I took 3 years to earn my Doctoral level degree to become the Physical Therapist I am today. Today, I believe that my status makes me a more caring and empathetic healthcare provider. In the workplace, my undocumented status is not my weakness; it is my superpower. I am thankful for these hardships. I have learned what a true sense of community is in the Immigrant/undocumented community. I have have become more grateful in the blessings of working and supporting my family because of it. I have learned what resilience is and what advocacy truly means as our community continues to fight for change. I hope that our undocumented stories show that we are an unstoppable community. We will forge our own paths and we indeed have.
What the Undocuprofessionals means to you?
Undocuprofessional is an individual that weathered and continues to weather the storm to reach their full professional potential despite all uncertainty.
Message for Undocumented Students and Professionals
1. Make every decision with the belief of valuing yourself and knowing your worth as a smart, intellectual, and diverse professional.2. Reach out and network with many individuals in your field. It's really about who you know in most fields.