My name is Xiomara Raquel Sanchez Mara and I was born in Jalisco, but raised in Nayarit, Mexico. I came to the United States when I was 10 years old with my family of six to South Los Angeles where I began my education in the United States. In fact, one of my proudest accomplishments is to have graduated from the University of California Los Angeles in 2018, with a major in Biology and minor in Spanish. I always enjoyed learning therefore, I did not find learning a new language and being a student difficult. However, it was difficult for me to transition from being an undocustudent to an undocuprofessional because I did not know how to navigate the job market. Despite such difficulty I always knew my purpose was to help others and improve my community. There was a moment where I thought I was going to accomplish this through medicine however, it was not until I started working as a Teacher Assistant at the Communication and Technology High School (CATS) that I truly found my passion for education. Currently, I work as a community representative for LAUSD at CATS in South Los Angeles where I have been fortunate to work with numerous students who have recently migrated to the United States. Every day at work I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to work for my community when students and parents ask me for advice on how to navigate the education system in the United States or when I provide them with resources to facilitate their process of adaptation in a new country. For that reason, I like to see my immigration journey as that of a personal discovery where I have not only found my purpose but also learned the value of family, persistence and commitment.
What the Undocuprofessionals means to you?
Being an undocuprofessional means being in a constant state of discovery and being resourceful. This is because as an undocumented professional often times we lack the knowledge of certain aspects of a “professional” life. For example, filing out documents for employment or other life task such as buying a home, applying for a loan, life insurance etc. For this reason, we are in a constant state of discovering things as we go and the need to find resources to solve any issue that arises. Not only do we discover things professionally but also, personal characteristics we otherwise might not know existed such as being resourceful or persistent.