Student Bios: 2019-2020

Emely Baisa

I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. My parents are Honduran immigrants who have inspired me to follow my life goals. I am a first generation college student. I have the support of many amazing people in my life. That support has motivated me to always do my best to assist my own community as well as communities that aren’t my own. To me, it is important to stand in solidarity with people who aren’t receiving the equal rights that they deserve. I always push myself to keep learning about the different issues that happen in my community as well as the rest of the world, and what I can do as an individual. I would like to keep spreading awareness about the different injustices people face across the world. I believe the first most important step is knowledge, self awareness, and a willingness to keep an open mind to learning new things. From there come the next steps, how we can individually and as a collective make a difference. I want to be able to see a future where we all feel safe and respected as individuals no matter our race, social status, ethnicity, culture, and self-identity.

Nanitzia Comparan

I am a transnational student originally from Tijuana, Mexico. When I first started crossing the border to get my higher education, I began to perceive all the different relations that develop on both sides of the border, especially those related to immigration. My passion for immigration and border-related issues came with my awareness of the responsibility I have to change the future for those who can’t speak up and don’t have a voice. I hope to bring both of my majors, Communication and International Studies Political Science, together in order to create change in the future through media involved projects, activism and/or policies.

Alexander Fuentes

My drive towards this work really took off in the summer of 2019 when I was working as a substitute teacher for a summer class in Los Angeles. I remember one of the students in the classroom saying very firmly, “I don’t believe things are going to get better, people just talk but no one does anything or even enough to actually help”. I felt that deeply, mostly because I was doing just that, so I help as best as I can while always trying to do better than the day before. This work is really tough but doing good anywhere is honestly really difficult no matter the work so I just keep pushing through all the pains and just approach with respect and love.

Lauren Green

As a transnational person who grew up in both Puebla, Mexico and California, I have been fortunate enough to experience life in Mexico as well as in the U.S. Being part of this program made me realize how important this work truly is. It was life changing to actually be in the field and engage with people who have gone through so much. I believe it is imperative to use my privilege, education, and voice to help the ones who are not as lucky as myself and try to create a better future for our brothers and sisters. 

Natalie Jubrail

I am the daughter of two immigrant parents; my mom is from Mexico and my dad from Syria. This inclines me to want to be a part of something bigger than myself, I believe it is important to be global citizens and help those who do not have the same opportunities we often take for granted being U.S. citizens. My passion for immigration really began in the summer of 2018 when I was given the opportunity to represent the city of Los Angeles as a Mayor’s Young Ambassador in Durango, Mexico. We met with the Mayor and governor of Durango and discussed policies that could be implemented to better the city along with the best ways to deal with diplomacy. As an International Studies major, I hope to make impactful change, and create policies that allow immigrants to have a life here in the U.S. without so many hardships.

Itzel Alexandra Martinez

I am the product of two immigrant parents; my father is from Tijuana and my mother is from Guadalajara. I am a proud first generation college student from Bonita, California who is passionate about becoming an Immigration Attorney in the hopes of changing the lives of deportees, defending asylum seekers, and most importantly reuniting families. My passion is rooted in the struggles and challenges that my own family had to endure in order for me to live my own “American Dream.” I plan on serving my Latinx community and speaking up for those that do not have a voice in our unjust system. 

Maria Morales

I am a first generation college graduate. My parents were born and raised in Puebla, Mexico. They immigrated to the U.S at a young age in hopes of providing better opportunities for their children. As a child I was unaware of the magnitude of loneliness they experienced in a new country. They had left behind their friends, family and even their favorite foods. I hope to provide a sense of community and solidarity to those who have been displaced, while also learning about their own cultural traditions.

Alexis Orrick

Many of my loved ones are first and second generation immigrants and I feel very passionate about advocating for human rights, especially those related to the injustice at the US-Mexico border. I hope to bring meaningful change in whatever I end up doing in the future, whether that’s through writing, practicing law, or artistic forms of activism.

Valeria Ortega

I am a first-generation college student emerging from a strong, sizable family of immigrants in Chula Vista, California. From the earliest moments in life, the power of family, connections, and relationships has become engraved through several methods of teaching. Obtaining the minimal opportunity to consider several past and present stories of immigration from members of my immediate and extended family further ignited my interest in expanding my own understanding of the entire immigration system in the United States as well as in Mexico, while paying supplemental attention to the participants of the consolidated immigration operation. Moreover, my hope extends towards achieving the prospect of attending law school so as to pursue a career in law where I can contribute my own present knowledge while continuing to grow with experiences and provide assistance to those who are unable to deal with the issues they encounter by themselves. 

Diana Robles

I am a first generation student, and daughter of immigrant parents. Being part of the Mexican Migration Field Research Program allowed me to truly discover that I want to become an Immigration Attorney. Through MMFRP, I was able to first- hand observe the impact of current immigration policies since we attended the Casa del Migrante shelter and also two middle schools in Tijuana, Mexico where we came in contact with migrants and transnational students. This program was an eye opening experience that allowed me to feel motivated to pursue a career in the legal field and bring change to our current immigration laws.

Paulina Santiago Rodriguez

Socorro Trujillo

I am an immigrant from Michoacan, Mexico who grew up in Bakersfield, CA. My family is farmworkers, I am a first generation student and the second out of five kids to attend college. My passion for social justice comes from having to deal with injustice all my life. I aim to help the community gain their own voice and encourage other young people like me who are discouraged by the language barrier to attend college. 

Not Pictured:
  • Clarita Araujo
  • Rubi de Lira
  • Nathally Fernandez
  • Marisa García Pérez
  • Sehi Jordan
  • Julissa Limatu
  • Leslie Meyer
  • Kayleigh MItchell
  • Maomi Mojica
  • Claudia Navarrete
  • Miriam Nuñez
  • Paulina Olvera Cañez
  • Thuy-Hong Phan
  • Zeltzin Perez Reyes
  • Itzel Rodriguez
  • Adrian Rodriguez Valdez