Gina Engracia


"Immigrant youth and adults have a lot to contribute to the fabric of our nation. We can give them a sense of the limitless possibilities that are before them."

Loren Krane

Partner, Staff

"We as clinicians are not helpless or powerless. We can harness our energy and expertise to undo some of the damages done by this administration and its policies."

Felipe Martinez

Educator, Partner

"Some of the most important work of my life is showing young people what can be done and what's inside them."

Matt Alexander

Educator, Leadership Council, Partner

"Our students saw how power operates and how they could have a voice."

Bob Birgeneau

Educator, Leadership Council, Partner

"Supporting undocumented students is a human rights issue, one that every decent American should believe in."

Tanya Broder

Donor/Supporter, Leadership Council, Partner

"Immigrant youth have rarely accepted ‘no’ for an answer."

Meng So

Educator, Leadership Council, Partner

"This is a place for compassionate human possibility -- where no person is illegal, where our students are valued and loved for their intrinsic human dignity."

“Our undocumented students are now taking on leadership roles and leading their peers in activities, fundraisers, and other organizing at the district level across schools.” — Karen Martinez, Parent Center Manager at Cindy Avitia High School

Through our partnerships with high schools and college access organizations, Immigrants Rising enhances institutional support for undocumented high school students and their families in California.

In Academic Year 2020-2021, we are seeking partners to serve as host sites for undocumented professionals aspiring to work with high school students. Host Sites will provide undocumented professionals with the hands-on experience, training, and mentorship they need to bolster their professional careers.

Host Site Role

  • Provide undocumented professionals with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, training, and mentorship
  • Contribute to the leadership and professional development of incredible undocumented leaders

Host Site Benefits

  • Increase your school or your organization’s capacity to support high school students, as well as meet your ongoing programmatic goals

Host Site Requirements

  • Be a high school or a college access organization committed to serving high school students
  • Located in California
  • Willing to supervise and mentor a program participant for 15 hours a week
  • Provide remote opportunities or a workspace for program participant as needed
  • Committed to hosting a fellow for eight months (October 2020 – May 2021)

The application is currently closed. The deadline for all application materials was Monday, September 28, 2020, 11:59 p.m. PT.

“I feel compelled to work with these students because I have faith that they will become citizens.” — Sandra Rodrigues, Academic and Career Counselor at Cañada College

The California Campus Catalyst Fund (the Catalyst Fund) is a multi-million dollar, three-year grantmaking initiative to expand support for undocumented students and their families across the state’s three public higher education systems: California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California. To date, the Fund has raised over $14 million dollars.

A group of funders, advocates, and educators formed the Catalyst Fund to seed hope and a powerful path forward at a time when undocumented communities are grappling with fear and uncertainty. As undocumented immigrants question whether they will be torn from their homes, their schools, their jobs, and their families, this initiative builds on the proactive solutions and relief coming out of California’s public higher education campuses. Thanks to the leadership of students, faculty, and administrators, our state’s public colleges and universities have emerged as sites for innovation in welcoming undocumented students out of the shadows and providing them with the resources they need to succeed.

The Catalyst Fund seeks to strengthen this wave of innovation. It provides an opportunity for campus leaders to develop creative strategies to respond to the needs of large numbers of undocumented students and their families. We draw the connection between students and families for two principal reasons. First, many undocumented students view their futures as closely linked to the security of their families.  Second, immigrant students, especially the ones that are the first in their families to go to college and/or translate and navigate U.S. systems, can be important and trusted links to connect family members to needed services.

This grantmaking initiative is supported by private philanthropic dollars with the intent of enhancing the capacity of campuses across the state to serve undocumented communities in ways that are ultimately sustained through the campuses beyond the life of the Catalyst Fund.

Read profiles of our CA Catalyst Fund Fellows.
For more information, visit