Meet Our 2024 Pre-Law Fund Recipients!

2024 Pre-Law Fund Recipients

We are thrilled to introduce the new cohort of Pre-Law Fund recipients for 2024! These ten undocumented individuals will receive financial assistance, technical support for their law school applications, and access to Immigrants Rising’s network of legal professionals to prepare them for the next steps in their journey to law school.

Read more about our ten aspiring attorneys below.

Photo of Alan
Alan (he/him) is from San Jose, California, but was born in Mexico. He transitioned to the United States at the age of four, bringing with him the experiences and challenges of immigration. Growing up in a low-income environment riddled with violence, Alan has understood the struggles faced by many young individuals in similar circumstances. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is dedicated to academic pursuits, and is deeply involved in community activism and personal hobbies. During his time in Los Angeles, Alan co-founded the “SOS Initiative,” a community organization focused on serving the residents of South Central LA, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. Through this initiative, Alan and his peers worked to address some of the challenges marginalized communities face. Some of the things Alan does for fun are creative expression and physical activity. Art has allowed him to channel his experiences and observations of life in lower-income communities into his artwork. Also, martial arts has instilled in him valuable life skills that have supported his academic endeavors and community activism.
Photo of Fatima
Fatima (she/her) originates from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and moved to the United States at the age of three. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from UC Merced. Raised in a low-income family, Fatima, an only child, experienced the injustices of being undocumented early on. Working for UC Merced’s Office of Services for Undocumented Students, she assisted undocumented scholars, providing them with academic support, guidance, and advocacy. Realizing her passion for immigration law, she redirected her focus from therapy. Fatima enjoys tennis, filming social media reels, and exploring new cooking recipes. Her journey embodies resilience, determination, and a commitment to justice, a testament to those who continue to pursue their dreams against adversity.
Image portraying Hassanatou
Hassanatou (she/her) is from Guinea and migrated to the USA at the age of 12. She is a first-generation student with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in law from CUNY John Jay College. During her undergrad, she worked with underfunded high schools in NYC where she helped undocumented students apply to college and find resources to fund their education. Since graduating college, she has worked with different nonprofits that focus on immigration advocacy and has volunteered at migration centers. Volunteering at migration centers and her family being involved in diplomatic work has inspired her to pursue a law degree. Pursuing a legal education will prepare her to help new migrants arriving in the USA and advocate for them to ensure equal access to all. After receiving her J.D., she hopes to give back to the community that has helped her throughout her education journey. During her free time, she enjoys reading fictional books, going to the gym, and strengthening her faith.
Photo of Iris
Iris (she/her) was born in Chiapas, Mexico, and moved to Arkansas in 2009 to reunite with her mother. After her DACA was denied in 2016, she persisted for nine years and by the grace of God got her B.A. in Spanish from the University of Arkansas. Understanding that she would face numerous barriers due to her legal status and living in the South, she felt empowered to create her own consulting business, which led her to work in the immigration services department with different local non-profits. Gaining seven years of experience in immigration services and seeing firsthand the broken immigration system of this nation, Iris realized that law school would be her next career goal to continue advocating for immigrant rights through representation and policy formulation. In her free time, Iris loves leading worship and serving in her local church, trying out new restaurants, and listening to Crime Junkie Podcast.
Photo of Julie
Julie Anne (she/her) is a proud Filipina immigrant and New Yorker. She attended Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) and pursued a joint major in government and American studies, with a concentration on race and ethnicity in the United States. During her undergraduate studies, Julie served as a tutor at the Writing Center and a research assistant. She also interned at a non-profit organization combating the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from F&M in 2020 as a TheDream.US and Posse Scholar. She currently works as a senior investigative analyst for a city agency in New York. In her spare time, Julie enjoys watching heavily discounted Broadway shows, collecting stationery, and baking. Her favorite projects include cakes inspired by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and mermaids.
Photo of Karen
Karen (she/her) was born in Chiapas, Mexico, and migrated to the U.S. with her family at six months old. She is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in government with an emphasis in legal studies and a minor in forensic psychology. For the past six years, she has been involved in immigration work which fostered her desire to become an immigration attorney. Karen is eager to advocate for those who lack the means to achieve their educational and professional aspirations due to their status. Karen is a 2022 UCLA Dream Summer Fellow, a recipient of scholarship, a member of the 2023-2024 UCLA DRC Alumni Council, and serves as an advocate for state-level policies in the state of Arizona with Aliento. Karen’s ultimate goal is to stand at the forefront of legal advocacy, fighting for the rights of her community.
Photo of Lorena
Lorena (she/her) was born in Guerrero, Mexico, and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 5. She graduated from the City College of New York with a double major in political science and sociology. As an undocumented person, she has experienced the direct impacts of immigration issues, leading her to work centering undocumented students in higher education. She has been involved in her community in various capacities, connecting with new people like students on campus, street vendors, and professionals in non-profit organizations, education, immigration, and law. Lorena has witnessed the immense need to reduce barriers to professional and occupational licenses and the importance of hiring undocumented students. She believes in collective advocacy for the expansion of funding opportunities through creative solutions and a sense of urgency. By attending law school, Lorena wants to open and push for more opportunities for immigrant women in immigration law.
Photo of Renzo
Renzo (he/him) is from La Paz, Bolivia. He migrated to the US when he was 12 years old. Renzo grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He graduated from high school, where he had to overcome constant judgment and doubt from his peers and teachers just because he was an immigrant. Renzo attended the University of Minnesota and received a B.A. in Political Science and a B.I.S. in Portuguese, French, and Chicano/Latino studies. As an undocumented Latino, sexual assault survivor, and gay man, Renzo always knew he wanted to go to law school to help others who face similar challenges. As a future attorney, Renzo wants to be an advocate and a resource for those who continue to be victims of the inequalities in the justice system. Outside of his advocacy, Renzo enjoys eating out, exercising, learning languages, and spending time with his family and dog.
Photo of Rosa
Rosa (she/her/ella) was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States at twelve. Rosa holds a B.A. in Spanish Literature and Latin America and Latino Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Driven by her personal experiences as a low-income and undocumented woman of color, Rosa became intrigued by immigration law. Therefore, after graduating from college, Rosa became a paralegal at a local nonprofit in Watsonville, CA, and later became a partial Department of Justice Accredited Representative from 2020-2022. Rosa saw the need for direct legal representation in immigration matters and decided to bridge this gap by obtaining DOJ accreditation. Rosa recently started working as a paralegal at the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender and is eager to learn about the criminal law system. During her free time, Rosa enjoys going on hikes, spending time with her family and friends, and harvesting vegetables from her garden.
Photo of Susan
Susan Anel (she/her) was born in Mexico and currently lives in Florida. She grew up in Los Angeles County as an undocumented immigrant and now navigates life as a DACA recipient. While pursuing her B.A. from UC Berkeley, Susan was a Legal Fellow at Immigrants Rising and a DreamSF Fellow at Jubilee Immigration Advocates. Following graduation, Susan was an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) Community Fellow at the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition. She was part of a team that provided universal representation for detained adults in Maryland. These experiences have greatly contributed to her passion for state and federal immigration policy, racial justice, and criminal justice reform. She intends to be an advocate for marginalized communities.

We are excited to follow their journeys as they strive to transform their communities through a career in law.

We are only able to do this work because of the generous support from our community members. Help us ensure that undocumented individuals continue to have access to programs such as the Pre-Law Fund! Click here to donate.

Thank You!

This year’s Pre-Law Fund is made possible because of the generous financial support of these incredible donors: Beleza Chan, The Arturo & Rosa González Family Giving Fund, Johanna Hartwig & Stefano DeZerega, The Larry L. Hillblom Foundation, Nakada Hoang Donor Advised Fund, Elizabeth J. Kramer Charitable Fund, Jeannie & Christopher Rhee, Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC, Wendy Wylegala, Steve Yale-Loehr.