Steve Li, a graduate of UC Davis, is a healthcare consultant in San Francisco. He served on Immigrants Rising’s Outreach Team from 2012 to 2013, and also participated in the Creative Writing Program.
How did you find out about our organization?
I was born in Peru and came to the U.S. when I was around 10. I didn’t find out that I was undocumented until 2010, when my house was raided by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (I.C.E), and I was put in deportation proceedings. I was incarcerated and detained for two months in Arizona. Thanks to my friends, professors, community and the Asian Law Caucus, my deportation was deferred.
I found out about E4FC [Educators for Fair Consideration, now known as Immigrants Rising] when I was a student at City College of San Francisco. Through E4FC, I found resources that helped me succeed in college and a supportive community of other undocumented youth.
I participated in the Creative Writing Program and joined the Outreach Team, doing presentations at high schools and colleges all over California. It was inspiring to see an organization led by undocumented youth for undocumented youth.
How has being part of our organization influenced you?
E4FC provided me with a strong support network and a sense of belonging and community. It was extremely challenging being undocumented and navigating through college, but having E4FC as a resource and providing guidance every step of the way made things easier. It was also very rewarding being part of the Outreach Team and supporting other undocumented youth across California.
I made life-long friendships through E4FC and found a family that will always be there to support me through my personal and professional endeavors.
What are your hopes for our organization and community?
I hope E4FC continues to grow and evolve as an organization that’s leading the nation in providing support services and empowering immigrants—for another 10 years and beyond.
Immigrants make America great and E4FC is full of immigrants!