I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and migrated to the United States with my family at the age of 9. I was raised in Santa Maria, California in a supportive and close family. Growing up I saw the lack of legal resources available to my community. I witnessed first-hand how difficult it was for the migrant and low-income community to navigate the complex legal system. Oftentimes the language barrier and the high cost of hiring an attorney prevented many from receiving a legal remedy and justice. Driven by my passion for helping others, I was motivated to dedicate my career to the service of others.
After graduating from Pioneer Valley High School in June 2012, I attended Allan Hancock Community College. While at Allan Hancock, I had the opportunity to become more involved with my community. I had the privilege of interning at The Superior Court of Santa Maria for Judge Rogelio Flores. Through this internship I discovered my passion for law and aspired to become an attorney. During my internship I was exposed to the Veterans Treatment Court; the goal of this court is to resolve the criminal cases of veterans through treatment and support. The District Attorney, Public Defender, Judge and treatment providers work together as a support team, with the goal of providing Veterans a path for reintegrating into our community. Learning about this Treatment Court reinforced my belief that it is possible for everyone to have access to the law and to justice.
In 2016 I obtained my Bachelor of Arts with a major in International Relations with emphasis in peace and security and a minor in Chicano/a studies from The University of California, Davis. During my time at UC Davis I learned about different legal systems around the world and how these different systems incorporate different approaches to law in order to cater to their different communities. With this knowledge in hand, I knew it was possible to provide better access to the law for my community and in order for me to do that I need to further my education.
I began law school in the fall of 2016. During law school I interned at the McGeorge Immigration Law Clinic. Through this internship I was able to provide pro bono representation to underserved community members. I provided in-depth legal assistance to clients in cases including VAWA, adjustment of status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions, DACA renewals and Citizenship applications. During my time at the clinic I had the opportunity to work with many diverse clients and received extensive training from experienced faculty. Additionally, I worked at the Sacramento Food Bank: Immigration legal services for two years. As a law clerk I was in charge of conducting initial consults to screen immigration legal remedies available to clients and based on this initial consultation take their case. I filed more than 100 citizenship applications before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, I prepared clients for their interview and on several occasions attended their interview with them. I filed DACA renewals and led workshops to educate DACA recipients about the program and update them on their constant changes. I filed family-based petitions, drafted declarations and prepared evidence packets. I conducted extensive research regarding country conditions and present danger and drafted legal briefs to help clients from Iran, El Salvador, and Guatemala file for asylum. In 2019 I obtained my Juris Doctor; Concentration in International Law from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
After an absence of 6 years from Santa Maria, I have returned to my hometown of Santa Maria inspired to give back to my community. As a person with a humble beginning I understand the need to make legal resources available for everyone. Through my participation in FLIC I am committed to promoting access to justice, strengthening communities, fighting discrimination and effecting systemic changes through representation, advocacy and community education.