Thank you for creating this home with me.

When Carrie Evans, my cofounder, and I first met at a friend’s birthday party more than 17 years ago, we had absolutely no idea that our chance meeting would result in the creation of Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) and now Immigrants Rising.

Photo of Katharine Gin and Carrie Evans with a group of students a the early years of E4FC, now Immigrants Rising.

We had no idea that Immigrants Rising would eventually raise over $40 million; give out nearly $18 million in grants to undocumented individuals and institutions; or serve thousands through our education, entrepreneurship, career, legal, and mental health programs and resources.

But what we did know—Carrie as a college counselor and I as an educator—was the pain and disappointment of undocumented students who wanted to go to college and yet were excluded from government financial aid, loans, and private scholarships. And we saw in each other an impatience for something to be done, an unwillingness to stand on the sidelines and simply tell those students to wait.

Photo of Katharine Gin (right) sitting on stage with three speakers during an event in 2019.

It was deep concern for undocumented students that brought Carrie and me together all those years ago, but that is not what has kept me part of this organization for so long.

What has kept me at Immigrants Rising is pride.

I’ve been proud to be part of a community of such steadfast purpose and values. Proud to work every day with people who achieve extraordinary things, yet who refuse to be defined solely by those achievements. People determined to keep alive a sense of who they want to be and what stories they want to tell about themselves.

This is my last week as Executive Director. My gifted colleague, Alejandra Guillen, will be assuming the role of Interim Executive Director for a few months until the new Executive Director is in place. Alejandra has served on Immigrants Rising’s staff for over nine years and as our Deputy Director for the last two years.

Photo of Katharine Gin (center) with Immigrants Rising team in 2023.

In my last precious days of being in this role, I am filled with gratitude for all the amazing people I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with over the past 17 years.

Thank you for allowing me to be part of this phenomenal organization, which is far bigger, bolder, and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined or planned for. Thank you for giving me the space to grow and take risks, to find my voice, and to make mistakes. Thank you for enabling me to feel a deep sense of hope—in the future, in this country, and also in myself.

Thank you for creating this home with me.