Mentoring DACA & Undocumented Youth

As youth with DACA and undocumented status continue to experience challenges within the current social-political climate, there is a need for youth practitioners, ministers, and advocates to support them. In collaboration with Centro Latino at Fuller Theological Seminary and Stars: Illuminate, Educate, Advocate, the Thrive Center for Human Development presents Stand By Me in Faith: Mentoring DACA and Undocumented Youth Webinar. Discover how you can walk with these youth throughout their journey in this webinar.

What You'll learn:

  • Insights from leading scholars on research-based best practices for mentoring DACA and undocumented youth.
  • Practical guidelines from DACA recipients and Dreamers, themselves, and their mentors for how to best support these youth in the current social-political climate.
  • Strength-based approaches to advocate and stand by these youth as faith communities.
  • Q&A discussion.
8 Best Mentoring Practices Preview

Guide to Supporting DACA & Undocumented Youth

What are the practical guidelines to mentoring DACA and undocumented youth as they face challenges within the current social-political climate? Based on the webinar, we outline 8 research-based mentoring practices to help you advocate and support these youth during uncertain times.

Meet the participants from this webinar

Bernadette Sanchez Head Shot

Dr. Bernadette Sánchez

Professor of Psychology, DePaul University

About Dr. Sánchez

Dr. Bernadette Sánchez is a Professor of Community Psychology at DePaul University. She is an expert on the role of mentoring relationships in the positive development of urban, low-income adolescents of color. Her research is on the role of formal and natural mentoring relationships in youth’s educational experiences, the resilience of marginalized youth, and the role of racial and ethnic processes, such as racial discrimination and racial/ethnic identity, in adolescent development.

Marisol Clark-Ibanez Head Shot

Dr. Marisol Clark-Ibáñez

Professor of Sociology, California State University, San Marcos

About Dr. Clark-Ibáñez

Dr. Marisol Clark-Ibáñez is a Sociologist and Chair of the Sociology Department at California State University, San Marcos, studying issues of immigration, education, childhoods, social capital, and computer science education through a social justice lens. As the Faculty Director of the National Latino Research Center, she works collaboratively on applied research projects in the community on such topics as civic engagement, health, and incarceration. She currently coordinates Education Without Borders, a regional listserve that informs educators, students, and families about the latest on immigration at the local level and beyond, and is co-facilitating UndocuResearch Project, a research group which is a study by, for and with undocumented community members and students to research the experiences of undocumented high school students since the election of President Trump.

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Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores

Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Fuller Seminary

About Dr. Rojas-Flores

Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores is an Associate Professor in the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her primary research interests focus on trauma, youth violence prevention, and the quality of parent-child relationships and overall well-being of children and parents living in low-income immigrant families in the United States. She is also engaged in international research examining the impact of community violence on parents, teachers and adolescents living in El Salvador. As a bilingual/bicultural licensed clinical psychologist, she takes a special interest in addressing the interrelationships between family, mental health and social justice issues.

Norma Ramirez Head Shot

Norma Ramirez

DACA Recipient, Doctoral Student, Fuller Seminary

About Ramirez

Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, Norma Ramirez migrated to the United States at the age of five. She has always loved learning and excelled academically. It wasn’t until attending graduate school for a PhD in clinical psychology that she realized crossing the border was a traumatic experience that continues to shape every part of her life. Norma deeply cares for her community, volunteering at the Latino/a Youth Leadership Conference in Las Vegas since 2008. She is currently “bringing back” the awareness and benefits of mental health practices, specifically therapy, to Latino/a high school juniors and seniors. Norma is both an advocate for her therapy clients within the system and an activist in the greater socio-political context for Latino/a immigrant youth and families

Emilinao Tellez Head Shot

Emiliano Tellez Sorrosa

DACA Recipient, San Francisco State University

About Tellez

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Emiliano Tellez moved to Pasadena, California at the age of six with his mom and three siblings in search of a better life. After a tough elementary experience, he excelled in middle school and developed a passion for sports and the arts, specifically in acting. After one year at a PUSD high school, he prepared himself to audition for the prestigious acting program at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and was part of a group of 4 selected from 900+ who auditioned. He graduated from LACHSA in 2016 and has been in San Francisco ever since, studying acting at San Francisco State University. Throughout his academic, personal, and artistic journey in the United States, he considers himself blessed to be supported by STARS: Illuminate, Educate, Advocate. He attests he would not be the person he is today without their support.

Sonia Luginbuhl Head Shot

Sonia Luginbuhl

Associate Pastor, Mountainside Communion

About Luginbuhl

Sonia Luginbuhl is a mother of three children and an Associate Pastor at Mountainside Communion, a Church of the Nazarene. She studied theology and intercultural studies at Westmont College and Fuller Theological Seminary. Her emphasis for the Master of Arts was mission and migration, as a response to the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq, which was the context for her work among the refugee communities in the migration intersections of Athens, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey.  Since then, she has remained actively involved in the immigration narrative(s) in Southern California, most vitally, through friendship and hospitality.

Eric Johnson Head Shot

Eric Johnson

Director of Partnerships & Collaborations, Stars

About Johnson

A native to Los Angeles, Eric has served urban youth and teens dealing with trauma for over 40 years as a pastor, director, and educator. As Director of Partnerships & Collaborations in STARS: Illuminate, Educate, Advocate, he is responsible for building support and advocacy within the Pasadena Unified School District community around systemic issues impacting vulnerable students and families by leveraging relationships within the faith, non-profit and business communities. Eric is a graduate of and Southern California Liaison for the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (DVULI) whose mission is to make a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged urban youth by investing in their leaders.

Mores Resources


Podcast: Conversing about DACA

Norma Ramirez joins the Conversing Podcast to talk about growing up undocumented and her experience as a PhD student at Fuller Theological Seminary under the DACA policy.

> Listen Now


Advocacy & Support have created a series of guides dedicated to assisting undocumented students. Learn how you can further support and become an advocate for these youth.

> Read More


College Protection share tips for colleges on creating a culturally inclusive educational environment and providing student services for multilingual students.

> Read More

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