Julissa Arce, immigration & education advocate; co-founder & chairman of Ascend Educational Fund; author of My (Underground) American Dream
Topic: The American Dreamer: From Undocumented to Wall Street to Immigration Advocate
Location: Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn
Introduction: Nicholas Jones
Moderator: Cheraine Stanford
Julissa Arce is a writer, immigrant rights, education advocate and a CNBC Contributor. She is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity or national origin. Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and College Spring. She is the former Director of Public Affairs at Define American, a media organization that uses the power of story to change culture around immigration and citizenship. Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street working at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and had seemingly achieved the American Dream, and yet she was not part of what defined American.
Julissa immigrated to America from Mexico at the age of 11 and was undocumented for almost 15 years, including some of her years rising to prominence on Wall Street. In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, Julissa co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014. Julissa is currently working on a book chronicling her story, set for release in 2016.
Julissa shares her story about what it was like “climbing the corporate ladder” as both a Hispanic woman and an undocumented American. While, to many, she achieved the American dream of wealth and status, how could it be that she still did not fit what the U.S. legally defines as American? She discusses how questions like that, and the stories of the millions of other undocumented Americans living in the U.S., compelled her to leave Wall St and pursue a path as an immigration rights advocate. Through Julissa’s personal stories, audiences will gain a new perspective on what it means to achieve the “American dream.”
* Arrangements for the appearance of Julissa Arce made through Greater Talent Network, Inc., New York, NY
*Additional support for this event was provided by the Offices of the Vice Provost for Global Programs and the Vice Provost for Educational Equity