Immigrants Rising’s Educational Transitions Coaching provides undocumented students mentorship and guidance to successfully transition to their next stage in life.

Promotional graphic for Educational Transitions Coaching

Immigrants Rising Coaches are experts in working directly with undocumented students. Our coaches will work with you to achieve the goals that you identify between January and May 2022. Coaches support you through active listening, asking questions, and being fully invested in your success. They provide a safe space for you to envision and plan your next steps. Our coaches are part of a network of other undocumented folks and will be able to connect you to a supportive community as well.

Who is this for?

Educational Transitions Coaching is for students who:

  • Attend or are affiliated with one of our Catalyst Fund Campuses
  • Are foreign-born
  • Do not have permanent residency (green card) or citizenship in the U.S.
  • Are available to receive coaching for a span of up to 4 months
What can I expect from coaching?

You will meet with your coach in a 1-1 video zoom call once a week to discuss your situation and empower your actions.

Your coach can support you with:

  • Setting academic goals and academic support
  • Career/post-graduation income generation
  • Guidance on what actions will most impact your goals
  • Legal, academic, and mental health resources
  • Navigating family dynamics
When does coaching begin?

We are not currently accepting any new coaching participants.

Click here for answers to more Commonly Asked Questions.




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.

  REGISTER HERE  

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.

  REGISTER HERE  

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.

  REGISTER HERE  

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

Immigrants Rising’s Wellness Support Groups help undocumented young people stay grounded and connected to community.

Graphic for Wellness Support Groups

These 6-week Wellness Support Groups led by trained mental health providers or registered clinicians, are designed to help undocumented people feel less alone and more understood. The weekly virtual sessions are closed; meaning that advance registration is required, with the goal of creating a confidential space where 10-12 participants can feel grounded, find community, and share their unique experiences, challenges, and successes with one another. Note: though participation can be therapeutic, the groups are not a form of therapy.

Upcoming Support Groups

April 2021 API Support Group

API Support Group

This group is designed to support anyone who identifies as API. We will discuss issues the API population faces, especially the current social and political climate. Topics include but are not limited to: discrimination and violence against API; COVID-19 and its effects on our community; model minority myths; the concept of family; feeling of guilt; interdependency; Tiger mom attitude; culturally specific communication styles; generational gaps; and assimilation into mainstream culture.

About the Facilitator

Akiko was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Her first career was as a dancer and then she worked in the entertainment industry. Akiko moved to London to become a dance movement psychotherapist, and later obtained her doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii. She completed the clinical psychology postdoctoral respecialization program at California Professional School of Psychology/Alliant International University and is now a licensed psychologist in California. Akiko has worked at mental health clinics and hospitals in Tokyo and London, schools in London and San Francisco, and community mental health programs in San Francisco. She currently works in private practice located in San Francisco’s Japantown. She is a former president of the San Francisco Psychological Association.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Tuesdays beginning on May 4, 2021
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. PT / 9:30 – 11:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

April 2021 Chair Yoga and Meditation Support Group

Chair Yoga/Meditation Support Group

Chair yoga is a gentle practice that allows for poses to be performed while seated and/or with the aid of a chair. Yoga helps with increased flexibility, strength, and bodily awareness. Yoga also helps with managing anxiety, stress, and depression.

What to expect:

  • Gentle movements and postures.
  • Coordination of breath and movement.
  • Introduction to meditation.

How to prepare:

  • Dress comfortably.
  • Have a chair nearby, if possible. Alternatively, you can sit on a yoga mat (actual yoga mat, towel, blanket, grass, floor, etc.).
  • Whatever you need nearby: water, tea, candle, crystals, anything!
About the Facilitator

Ariana (they/them/their) identifies as a queer, nonbinary, child of immigrant parents de Jalisco y Tijuana. Ariana is first generation, bilingüe, y was raised in the emotional and physical borderlands of Mexicanidad y los Estados Unidos. In 2019, Ariana became a certified yoga instructor and founded POC meets Rainbow, a movement that centers the wellbeing of QT/BIPOCs in the yoga and meditation wellness world. They also hold a master’s degree in Couple and Family Therapy from Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology, including certification in LGBT Human Services and Mental Health. Ariana is a psychotherapist in California.

#LMFT110793 | arianalozano.com | @poc_meets_rainbow

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Thursdays beginning on April 29, 2021
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

May 2021 Undocuwomen Support Group

Undocuwomen Support Group

The support of sisters is unique and nourishing. This group is open to all undocuwomen seeking a space for sharing and connection in times of uncertainty. Exploring an intersectional identity can lead us to learn new coping skills and strategies from one another as we examine the impact of our multiple identities. The themes we’ll explore in this group will be determined by the first session—because you know your support needs best. We will come as we are, share what we know, and celebrate one another’s successes.

About the Facilitator

Virginia Garcia, a Licensed Professional Counselor – Associate, is the daughter of a Bracero father and an activist mother, both Mexican immigrants in the Midwest. She is currently a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio while living, working, and loving in the borderlands of Laredo, Texas. While Virginia has worn many career hats, she’s focused on uplifting immigrant populations via activist groups such as the Laredo Immigrant Alliance and the No Border Wall Coalition, among others. She is currently a counselor-associate for Usawa Services and embarking on a new venture with Solsana Wellness. She lives in a creaky historic home with her partner and way too many pets.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Thursdays beginning on May 13, 2021
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. PT / 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

Interested in facilitating a support group?

Please contact our Mental Health Team at mentalhealth@immigrantsrising.org for more information.


Past Support Groups

Foundations of WellBEing facilitated by Bianca L. Rodriguez, MA, Ed.M, LMFT

Foundations of WellBEing facilitated by Bianca L. Rodriguez, MA, Ed.M, LMFT
Foundations of WellBEing is a 6-week course that will provide participants with an understanding of how personal transformation works and how to navigate it gracefully. Part of the process includes learning to regulate your emotions, build self-love/esteem, listen to your intuition, and surrender to the flow of the Universe. Participants will gain actionable steps to immediately begin using in real world scenarios to see results, including increased happiness, clarity, and meaning.
Redefining Rest in the Latinx Community facilitated by Dr. Susana Marquez

Redefining Rest in the Latinx Community facilitated by Dr. Susana Marquez
The goal of this group is to teach participants the importance of resting to better their mental and emotional health. We will explore the negative connotations placed on “rest” by our community or family members, as well as the deeply rooted emphasis on “work and grind.” Participants will identify healthy ways of resting and creating a healthy balance between work and rest. They will learn how to effectively communicate the need to rest to family members, and how to set boundaries around it.
UndocuAPI Support Group facilitated by Lina Hannigan, Ph.D.

UndocuAPI Support Group facilitated by Lina Hannigan, Ph.D.
There are 1.7 million undocumented Asian and Pacific Islander (API) immigrants in the U.S., with the vast majority living in California. However, the phrase “undocumented immigrant” often evokes imagery and services intended specifically for the Latinx community. As a result, the diverse needs and identities of the API community are commonly overlooked. This group is a place for API individuals to come together to hear and be heard, sharing stories that express each person’s unique experience and culture. Through thoughtful questions and prompts, we will build the strength of community that comes from recognizing common values, empathizing with familiar pressures, and finding comfort in our shared humanity.

Immigrants Rising’s Wellness Support Groups help undocumented young people stay grounded and connected to community.

Graphic for Wellness Support Groups

These 6-week Wellness Support Groups led by trained mental health providers or registered clinicians, are designed to help undocumented people feel less alone and more understood. The weekly virtual sessions are closed; meaning that advance registration is required, with the goal of creating a confidential space where 10-12 participants can feel grounded, find community, and share their unique experiences, challenges, and successes with one another. Note: though participation can be therapeutic, the groups are not a form of therapy.

Upcoming Support Groups

April 2021 API Support Group

API Support Group

This group is designed to support anyone who identifies as API. We will discuss issues the API population faces, especially the current social and political climate. Topics include but are not limited to: discrimination and violence against API; COVID-19 and its effects on our community; model minority myths; the concept of family; feeling of guilt; interdependency; Tiger mom attitude; culturally specific communication styles; generational gaps; and assimilation into mainstream culture.

About the Facilitator

Akiko was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Her first career was as a dancer and then she worked in the entertainment industry. Akiko moved to London to become a dance movement psychotherapist, and later obtained her doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii. She completed the clinical psychology postdoctoral respecialization program at California Professional School of Psychology/Alliant International University and is now a licensed psychologist in California. Akiko has worked at mental health clinics and hospitals in Tokyo and London, schools in London and San Francisco, and community mental health programs in San Francisco. She currently works in private practice located in San Francisco’s Japantown. She is a former president of the San Francisco Psychological Association.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Tuesdays beginning on May 4, 2021
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. PT / 9:30 – 11:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

April 2021 Chair Yoga and Meditation Support Group

Chair Yoga/Meditation Support Group

Chair yoga is a gentle practice that allows for poses to be performed while seated and/or with the aid of a chair. Yoga helps with increased flexibility, strength, and bodily awareness. Yoga also helps with managing anxiety, stress, and depression.

What to expect:

  • Gentle movements and postures.
  • Coordination of breath and movement.
  • Introduction to meditation.

How to prepare:

  • Dress comfortably.
  • Have a chair nearby, if possible. Alternatively, you can sit on a yoga mat (actual yoga mat, towel, blanket, grass, floor, etc.).
  • Whatever you need nearby: water, tea, candle, crystals, anything!
About the Facilitator

Ariana (they/them/their) identifies as a queer, nonbinary, child of immigrant parents de Jalisco y Tijuana. Ariana is first generation, bilingüe, y was raised in the emotional and physical borderlands of Mexicanidad y los Estados Unidos. In 2019, Ariana became a certified yoga instructor and founded POC meets Rainbow, a movement that centers the wellbeing of QT/BIPOCs in the yoga and meditation wellness world. They also hold a master’s degree in Couple and Family Therapy from Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology, including certification in LGBT Human Services and Mental Health. Ariana is a psychotherapist in California.

#LMFT110793 | arianalozano.com | @poc_meets_rainbow

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Thursdays beginning on April 29, 2021
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

May 2021 Undocuwomen Support Group

Undocuwomen Support Group

The support of sisters is unique and nourishing. This group is open to all undocuwomen seeking a space for sharing and connection in times of uncertainty. Exploring an intersectional identity can lead us to learn new coping skills and strategies from one another as we examine the impact of our multiple identities. The themes we’ll explore in this group will be determined by the first session—because you know your support needs best. We will come as we are, share what we know, and celebrate one another’s successes.

About the Facilitator

Virginia Garcia, a Licensed Professional Counselor – Associate, is the daughter of a Bracero father and an activist mother, both Mexican immigrants in the Midwest. She is currently a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio while living, working, and loving in the borderlands of Laredo, Texas. While Virginia has worn many career hats, she’s focused on uplifting immigrant populations via activist groups such as the Laredo Immigrant Alliance and the No Border Wall Coalition, among others. She is currently a counselor-associate for Usawa Services and embarking on a new venture with Solsana Wellness. She lives in a creaky historic home with her partner and way too many pets.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Thursdays beginning on May 13, 2021
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. PT / 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

Interested in facilitating a support group?

Please contact our Mental Health Team at mentalhealth@immigrantsrising.org for more information.


Past Support Groups

Foundations of WellBEing facilitated by Bianca L. Rodriguez, MA, Ed.M, LMFT
UndocuAPI Support Group facilitated by Lina Hannigan, Ph.D.
Redefining Rest in the Latinx Community facilitated by Dr. Susana Marquez

Immigrants Rising’s Wellness Support Groups help undocumented young people stay grounded and connected to community.

Graphic for Wellness Support Groups

These 6-week Wellness Support Groups led by trained mental health providers or registered clinicians, are designed to help undocumented people feel less alone and more understood. The weekly virtual sessions are closed; meaning that advance registration is required, with the goal of creating a confidential space where 10-12 participants can feel grounded, find community, and share their unique experiences, challenges, and successes with one another. Note: though participation can be therapeutic, the groups are not a form of therapy.

Upcoming Support Groups

Promotional image of "Black and Undocumented Support Group"

Black & Undocumented Support Group

Living a life as a Black and undocumented individual in the U.S. comes with very unique challenges and joys. This group is created and offered to all Black and undocumented individuals seeking a brave space. In this space, we will be sharing our stories and unique experiences in a non-judgmental environment, feel validated, and be in community with other Black and undocumented people. The themes discussed throughout the six weeks as well as the structure of the group will be determined by the participants, with the purpose of creating a space that best fits your needs.

About the Facilitator

Akiah Robinson Selwa, LMFT, is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist, and founder/president of Sunrise Therapy Center (SCT), Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling, Inc. Akiah has over 21 years of work experience as a domestic violence prevention advocate, psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, anti-trafficking abolitionist, and clinical program manager in the public health and private practice sectors. Akiah is very skilled in working with families, individuals, children, the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color) population, domestic violence/trafficked survivors, and members of the adoption/foster care constellations. Akiah approaches treatment with cultural humility that promotes acceptance, empowerment, and creativity. Akiah has developed specializations in biblical counseling, trauma-informed therapy, Somatic-Experiencing treatment, family therapy, and play therapy.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Thursdays beginning on May 12, 2022
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 – 4:30 ET

REGISTER HERE

Promotional image of "UndocuLGBTQ+ Support Group"

UndocuLGBTQ+ Support Group

Being LGBTQ in a heteronormative society isn’t easy, and it can be more challenging when you are from a culture that is not accepting of your identity. Add to the mix the pressures of being undocumented, and you have yourself an intersectional identity that can be ripe for distress! This group is open to all individuals who identify as LGBTQ seeking a safe space. Over the six weeks, we will share stories that can be mirrored and validated, discuss relevant issues facing our community, and build community in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. The themes discussed throughout the six weeks will be determined by the participants, so anyone who is LGBTQ can join and show up as you are.

About the Facilitator

Mayra Jimenez is a DACAmented Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Southern California. She has worked in the non-profit mental health sector for over 10 years in a variety of roles, starting from administrative coordination to clinical work and supervision. She utilizes her lived experiences as a way to guide the way she engages clients in therapy. Her strengths are in using a direct but soft approach to help clients through their experiences and struggles. She is able to use her experiences to inform her approach while also taking into consideration the unique experiences of clients. Mayra enjoys the challenge of being able to provide mental health services to communities that typically not access or are open to mental health treatment.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Thursdays beginning on May 12, 2022
Time: 5 – 6 p.m. PT / 8 – 9 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

Promotional image of "UndocuLatinx Support Group"

UndocuLatinx Support Group: Finding Hope and Coping with Uncertainty

Life with an undocumented status means facing uncertainty on a daily basis and noticing how it impacts many aspects of life. In this group, we will collectively discuss the different ways that uncertainty affects life, relationships, and wellbeing for each participant. As a group, we will also have an opportunity to reflect on experiences confronting uncertainty in the past and present. We will make space to connect, support, and learn from one another throughout the group process. The facilitator will introduce and guide participants through coping strategies and relaxation techniques that can be utilized at any point.

About the Facilitator

Stephanie Del Chiaro is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who was born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District. She helps people find meaning, give language to experiences, develop deeper self-understanding, and create more peace in their lives and relationships. Stephanie provides therapy through a lens that embraces her client’s culture and lived experience. The work that she does with clients is led by the client and builds upon their strengths, values and personality. She infuses humor, creative and visual arts, and an eclectic mix of therapeutic modalities that best suit each client and their situation.

Schedule & Info

Dates: 6 consecutive Wednesdays beginning on May 11, 2022
Time: 3 – 4 p.m. PT / 6 – 7 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

Interested in facilitating a support group?

Please contact our Mental Health Team at mentalhealth@immigrantsrising.org for more information.

Click here to see previous support groups.




Are you applying, re-entering or already enrolled in a California college or university? Make sure you’re getting all the funding you’re eligible for and the support you need with these helpful resources designed for undocumented individuals pursuing an undergraduate degree.

FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR INDIVIDUAL SITUATION

DON’T MISS OUT ON CA DREAM ACT


California Dream Act Overview

Check Out Our Resources

QUICK GUIDE TO COLLEGE ACCESS
Take a look at these resources on CA in-state tuition eligibility, financial aid, and scholarships.

CA DREAM ACT MAP
Navigate the process of applying for financial aid with this helpful tool.

CA DREAM ACT AND CAL GRANT APPLICATION CHECKLISTS
Review these checklists to ensure that you’ve completed the necessary steps to be considered for all state financial aid, including the Cal Grant and Middle-Class Scholarship.

APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Explore these online databases of scholarships that don’t require proof of citizenship.

Explore our full set of resources

Stay Connected

Women’s March San Francisco 2020

Inclusion & Change Group, Scholar, Staff

"I march in gratitude for educators like Rosa Maria, my ESL teacher from Costa Rica, whom I met in Los Angeles when I was 17," said Marithza. "Her classroom was the only safe place that I had; it was the only place where I felt heard and seen. I left Rosa Maria’s class a year later with a new language, a new community and a commitment to my education."

David Cruz Hernandez

Inclusion & Change Group

"What happens when you can't pursue your dreams in the U.S.? Meet David Cruz Hernandez who moved to England in 2016 to pursue his scientific career."

Maritza

Inclusion & Change Group, Scholar

"I couldn't believe it. I could breathe again."