Valeria Garcia Undocumented Student Program
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico) Valeria moved to the U.S. at the age of 2. She earned bachelor degrees in Human Development and Sociology at CSULB, an undocu-friendly campus. She pursued a graduate degree in Community Development from UC Davis. While at UC Davis, she created a website and revised the graduate handbook to include resources and information for prospective and current undocumented graduate students. She later transitioned to the newly established AB540 & Undocumented Student Center, which allowed her examine the importance of a counterspace for undocumented students. In her thesis work, she concludes that counterspaces allow undocumented students to affirm their identity, feel a sense of belonging, build community, feel respected/accepted, and most importantly, worthy. Valeria recognizes that while strides to support undocumented students have been made, they have neither been comprehensive nor inclusive. In her role at the Undocumented Student Program, she continues to advocate for access, equity, and dignity of all undocumented students at UCLA.