Immigrants Rising’s Facilitated Activity Groups offer undocumented young people tangible skills, knowledge, and accountability to pursue personal, educational, and professional goals.

Promotional graphic for Facilitated Activity Groups

Join other undocumented students to explore and grow in a topic and build relationships with one another. Facilitated Activity Groups are virtual small-group sessions offered to undocumented students attending California colleges and universities (priority will be given to students attending one of our Catalyst Fund Campuses). Each activity group will meet weekly for 6 consecutive weeks and cover a topic under the umbrella of Immigration, Education & Career, or Entrepreneurship. You will have the opportunity to network and build relationships with other undocumented students. All activity groups will be guided by a skilled facilitator with deep familiarity of the undocumented experience. Check out the scheduled activity groups and register below.

Activity Groups (Available Year-round)

Click on the topics below to learn more and register.

#ICanAffordCollege: Financing a College Education as an Undocumented Student
Schedule: April 12 – May 17, 2022 (Tuesdays, 4 – 5 p.m.)
Facilitator: Cris Mercado

Everyone deserves an education that is enjoyable, fulfilling, and free from constraints. Unfortunately, undocumented students face additional barriers to pursuing their educational goals and enjoying their educational journeys due to the added stress that comes with limited access to financial and campus resources. This activity group will introduce you to strategies, resources, tips, and key actionable steps you can take to finance your college education and advocate for more and better campus resources. By the end of this activity group, you will implement a plan to increase your funding to help you alleviate some of the financial barriers to pursuing your educational goals.

You will receive a Certificate of Completion after attending at least 5 sessions.


Making Money Moves: Preparing for Career & Income Generating Opportunities
Schedule: April 13 – May 18, 2022 (Wednesdays, 4 – 5 p.m.)
Facilitator: Luis Quiroz

Everyone, regardless of immigration status, can make money by building their own businesses and working for themselves. Unfortunately, many undocumented students are graduating with uncertainty about how to maximize their degrees and generate income post-graduation. In this activity group, you will learn how to leverage your skills, knowledge, and experience to generate income through contracting and business start-up opportunities. By the end of this session, you will explore income-generating opportunities specific to you, develop a business plan to guide you through your future income-generating endeavors, and apply for a business grant.

You will receive a Certificate of Completion after attending at least 5 sessions.


Live, Work, Play! Traveling as an Undocumented Immigrant
Schedule: April 14 – May 19, 2022 (Thursdays, 4 – 5 p.m.)
Facilitator: David Cruz

Everyone deserves the opportunity to live their best life! Unfortunately, many undocumented students have missed out on unique and enriching experiences, such as traveling, due to their immigration status and the fears that come with traveling while undocumented. This activity group will give you an opportunity to transcend your physical boundaries by exploring what traveling means to you and learn what travel outside the U.S., across the U.S., and within your own city can look like. By the end of this activity group, you will identify actionable steps to take on your next trip, and have all the information you need to travel safely.

You will receive a Certificate of Completion after attending at least 5 sessions.


Meet the Facilitators

Cris Mercado, Facilitated Activity Group Facilitator
Cris Mercado

Cris Mercado is Founder & CEO of GrantAnswers, a data, strategy & product consulting firm for social impact. Through GrantAnswers, Cris has created processes and content to train +650 emerging, diverse technologists for tech careers. He has also developed systems to help +250 low-income, 1st generation students ascend to college and earn $2 million in scholarships & grants. Trusted by the likes of WSJ, NBC, Teach For America, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce for features, keynotes, and panels, Cris covers immigration, workforce development, education, entrepreneurship, and tech diversity/inclusion. He has a BA in Psychology, and at age 21, he was awarded the MAGNET Fellowship as a top Ph.D. Candidate in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York—later leaving with an MA, debt-free.

Join Cris’ Activity Group — #ICanAffordCollege: Financing a College Education as an Undocumented Student

David Cruz, Facilitated Activity Group Facilitator
David Cruz

David is from a family of entrepreneurs who work in multi-level marketing and photography industries. At the age of eleven, he immigrated to the U.S. from Cuautitlán Izcalli, Edo de Mexico, Mexico with his family and fought through discrimination, patronization for having difficulty speaking English, and systemic oppression of migrants.

David is a competitive swimmer, student leader, and entrepreneur. At the University of California, Santa Cruz, he led Empowering Latino Advancement Through Educational Development (ELATED), an organization founded to create a community and share resources amongst Hispanic/Latino people and undocumented students. He graduated with a double major in linguistics and political science and plans to pursue a master’s degree in linguistics and a Ph.D. in public policy.

David finds joy and peace in seeing others experiencing joy. He enjoys hiking, traveling, and reading. Through the Immigration Law Fellowship, he looks forward to gaining more knowledge in policy and giving back to his community and family.

Join David’s Activity Group — Live, Work, Play! Traveling as an Undocumented Immigrant

Luis Quiroz, Facilitated Activity Group Facilitator
Luis Quiroz

Luis Quiroz is the Founder, CEO and Lead Consultant at Trending Socials. Luis is a creative problem-solver. Over the span of his career, he has managed social media marketing campaigns for the City of San Francisco, and dozens of brands, bloggers, and small businesses.

Luis is a DACA recipient and an immigrant from Guerrero, Mexico. He arrived in the U.S. as an infant after his parents left their home in search of a better future for him and his other siblings. They settled in San Diego, CA where Luis grew up. He now lives in San Francisco, CA, where the business is based.

Growing up, Luis’ mom was a Tupperware saleswoman. He’d be so embarrassed on elementary school field trips when his mom was closing sales with his teachers! But he later understood his mom’s motives- it was necessary to put food on the table. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a bachelor of science degree in business, Luis was inspired by his mother to pursue his own dream of owning a business.

Join Luis’ Activity Group — Making Money Moves: Preparing for Career & Income Generating Opportunities