Valeria GarciaUndocumented Students Program Directorvgarcia@saonet.ucla.edu
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico) Valeria moved to the U.S. at the age of 2. She began her academic journey at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) where she found a supportive undocu-friendly network. Valeria earned Bachelor degrees in Human Development and Sociology. She later pursued a graduate degree in Community Development from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to learn how to effectively support immigrant communities. While at UC Davis, Valeria held two positions that allowed her re-direct her focus to work with and for undocumented students. As the Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) the Diversity Officer, she created a website and revised the graduate handbook to include information for prospective and current graduate undocumented students. Moreover, as the Retention Coordinator at the AB540 & Undocumented Student Center, she worked closely with undocumented students. Valeria developed programs and workshops to support students, but what she most enjoyed was advising and mentoring students, informally. Valeria is the first and only person in her family to achieve a college degree, and that continues to motivate her to ensure all students have access to a postsecondary education. When Valeria is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with family, watching shows (too many shows!), eating at new restaurants, riding her bike, and spending time with Riley, her 13 lb. dog.
Habiba Simjee Staff Attorneyhabiba.email@example.com
Habiba Simjee is a Staff Attorney with the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law (J.D.) and UC San Diego (B.A.). Her experience includes working with refugees, asylum-seekers, unaccompanied children, and youth in the juvenile justice system. Habiba became involved with undocumented student advocacy during law school through Berkeley Law’s International Human Rights Law Clinic DREAMers at Cal project. Most recently, she served as the Undocumented Student Services Coordinator at UC Santa Barbara.
Habiba will be providing legal services to undocumented students, mixed-status students, and their families at UCLA full-time through the Bruin Resource Center. She will be working closely with the Undocumented Student Program to offer workshops, clinics, and resources in addition to direct legal services.
Vivek MittalManaging Attorneyvivek.firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivek Mittal is a Managing Attorney at the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center. A graduate of the UCLA School of Law, Vivek has been an Adjunct Professor at the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the UC Irvine School of Law, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall, Senior District Court Judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles, California. Prior to this, he worked as an immigration practitioner at a private immigration firm in Los Angeles. In 2009, Vivek was selected to be an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the National Immigration Law Center, where he litigated high-impact cases regarding anti-immigration laws across the country, most notably against Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56. For this work, he was honored by the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA). Vivek enjoys creative writing, tennis, running and spending time with his daughter and partner. He is highly proficient in spoken Hindi.
Vivek will be providing legal services to students and their families at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, and will be assisting in managing the series provided at UC Riverside, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego.
Program Coordinator, Undocumented Student Program
Yadira Hernandez was born in Puebla, Mexico. She has resided in Los Angeles since the age of 15. She is a proud Transfer Bruin! She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with minors in Philosophy and Labor and Workplace Studies at UCLA. Her commitment to continue assisting undocumented communities is inspired in many ways, but mainly through her advocacy work supporting community college students to bring valuable resources to prepare students for success, informing immigrant communities about resources and legislations, and learning from the inspiring stories of people in her community. During her time at UCLA, she served as an AB540 Project Director, extending her knowledge through her Peer Mentoring experience at the Center for Community College Partnerships. As a Program Coordinator, she hopes to provide a supportive, empowering, and inclusive space for all students in the same way she found this network while an undergrad. She is interested in public service and social justice and will be pursuing a career in law to continue serving her immigrant communities.
Jose CardonaUndocumented Student Program Intern
Jose was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico and came to the United States at the age of 7. He is currently a 3rd year undergraduate, majoring in Geography and Chicano/a Studies with a minor in Urban Planning. Jose plans to go on to graduate school to study education and community development. As an undocumented student, Jose understands a lot of the difficulties faced when trying to pursue higher education. At USP, Jose will work on marketing.
Sam WilliamsMSA Graduate Internswilliams@saonet.ucla.edu|Pronouns: he/ him/ his
Sam is originally from New Jersey, and came to Los Angeles this summer. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in Student Affairs, which will prepare him to work on a college campus upon graduating in June of 2017. After graduating with a degree in Education and Music, Sam moved to Chicago where he worked at the Posse Foundation, a national college access and support organization. This year at USP, Sam will work on the Mariposa Achievement Project, UndocuAlly training, as well as assessment for the office.
Karen CoronillaProgramming Internkcoronilla@saonet.ucla.eduPronouns: she/ her/ hers
Karen Coronilla was born in Ecatepec, Mexico. She came to the United States at the age of 5. She is currently an undergraduate student double-majoring in Psychology and Chicano Studies. Karen's continuous involvement with several undocu-supportive organizations has given her the hands-on experience necessary to better assist fellow students, along with the USP team. She plans on pursuing a career in social work to ultimately continue giving back to the community that has helped her grow.
Karina SalcidoAdministrative Assistant Internksalcido@saonet.ucla.eduPronouns: she/ her/ hers
Karina was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico), and has been a California native since the age of 9. Karina is a transfer student from the Moreno Valley College and is currently a 4th year undergraduate at UCLA majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Chicana/o Studies. As a first-generation college student and undocumented student, Karina is thrilled to work with the Undocumented Student Program as an Administrative Assistant to support students from diverse backgrounds. Upon college graduation next year, she plans on gaining work experience in business administration. Her goal is to later apply to an MBA program and become a future business leader.
Adan MartiinezUSPARC Peer CounselorPronouns: He, his, him
Adán was born in state of Michoacan, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 9. After spending several years in the workforce, he returned to school to pursue higher education. Adán currently is in his last year as an undergrad, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Chicana/o studies. During his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, binge watching Netflix shows and listening to live music.
Cristian De Nova LedesmaUSPARC Peer Counselorcdenova@saonet.ucla.edu
Born in La Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City), Cristian moved to the United States at the age of 6. He is currently in his 4th year, as an undergraduate, studying Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. Cristian's experience as an undocumented student has encouraged him to give back and support the community through various means. He has worked with several campus partners to host spaces in which the community can engage in meaningful dialogues and feel empowered to foster change. After his time as an undergraduate at UCLA, Cristian plans on continuing his path in higher education through a career in Public Health. His time abroad in Peru, through a Global Health program, has reinforced his passion to improve equitable and culturally-competent access to health care.