We’re excited to introduce the six undocumented aspiring therapists who are joining our Mental Health Career Program this year. Throughout the program, participants will receive supervision, training, and mentorship from licensed therapists while gaining hours toward their licensure in California by providing pro-bono mental health services to undocumented individuals.
Jesus is a bilingual (Spanish/English) Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) who identifies as a queer, non-binary, undocumented DACA recipient, and comes from a mixed-status family. They have an associate degree in social and behavioral sciences from San Diego Mesa College and a bachelor’s degree in Chicana/o studies with a minor in women’s studies from San Diego State University. After working as a human rights organizer for immigrant and refugee rights, Jesus received their M.S. in Counseling from SDSU’s Community Based Block (CBB) Multicultural Community Counseling and Social Justice Education Program.
Jesus’ approach to mental health counseling is informed by person centered, experiential, emotion focused, motivational interviewing and internal family systems modalities, as well as creativity, authenticity, mindfulness and spirituality. Overall, they are a passionate life-long student of healing, community organizing, plant knowledge, astrology, emotional wellness, mental health, and spirituality. In their spare time, Jesus enjoys time outdoors, and hanging out with friends, family, their spouse, and pets.
After graduating, and having encountered many roadblocks due to her status, Laurie decided to take some time off from that career path to become a full-time nanny. It wasn’t until she found out about the Mental Health Career Program that she found herself feeling hopeful about the possibility of pursuing the road to licensure.
Laurie is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves and providing mental health support to those in need. She feels strongly about making mental healthcare more accessible to the undocumented community and to young adults struggling with entering the adult world. Laurie’s goal is to create an environment, in which people from all backgrounds and walks of life feel welcome and embraced.
Nicol proudly graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2020 and immediately entered her MSW graduate program at California State University, Los Angeles where she graduated in May 2023. Nicol is an advocate for the undocumented community and hopes to create space for people of color to be represented in policy-making. Through her experience in clinical work, she has witnessed an urgent need for mental health services among immigrants in this country, and her vision is to help her community heal through knowledge and collective empowerment.
Nicol’s hobbies include walking her dog, Milo, spending time with family and friends, listening to podcasts, and going to Dodger games—she’s an LA girl at heart. She is all about balance and manifesting good things in life!
After searching for years, Stella found her path in, helping people navigate their emotions and overcome life’s toughest challenges, especially under-resourced immigrants like herself. Today, Stella is an accomplished associate mental health counselor specializing in helping people recover from difficult experiences, overcome harmful habits, and understand the intricate relationships between mothers and daughters.
Stella often compares herself to a tiger, connecting with its strong determination and limitless strength. Dealing with immigration restrictions has felt like being trapped in a cage, limiting her opportunities. But, just like a tiger, She has used her inner strength to break through these barriers and make the most of her abilities. Stella is grateful to the Mental Health Career Program for giving her a chance to start a new life, and empowering her to show a path to comfort and renewal to those who are struggling.
Immigrants Rising’s Mental Health Career Program provides undocumented aspiring mental health professionals in California with career-specific hands-on training, professional development, and mentorship. To support innovative programs like our Mental Health Career Program, Pre-Law Program, and more, click here.