Mentoring DACA & Undocumented Youth

What You'll Learn

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.

  • 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.

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.

Webinar Participants

Head shot of Bernadette Sanchez

Bernadette Sánchez

Professor of Psychology, DePaul University

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.

Head shot of Marisol Clark Ibanez

Marisol Clark-Ibáñez

Professor of Sociology, California State University, San Marcos

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.

Head shot of Lisseth Rojas-Flores

Lisseth Rojas-Flores

Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Fuller Seminary

As an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Fuller Seminary’s School of Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores' teaching, research, and scholarship are deeply informed by culture and context. Her primary research interests focus on trauma, youth violence prevention, the quality of parent-child relationships, and the overall well-being of children and parents living in low-income immigrant families in the United States. Dr. Rojas-Flores 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.

Dr. Rojas-Flores has produced a variety of mental health resources at the Thrive Center, particularly for leaders who work with undocumented youth with and without DACA status.

+ Explore her work at the Thrive Center.

Head shot of Norma Ramirez

Norma Ramirez

DACA Recipient, Doctoral Student, Fuller Seminary

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.

Head shot of Sonia Luginbuhl

Sonia Luginbuhl

Associate Pastor, Mountainside Communion

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.

Head shot of Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

Director of Partnerships and Collaborations, STARS

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.

Head shot of Emiliano Tellez Sorrosa

Emiliano Tellez Sorrosa

DACA Recipient, San Francisco State University

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.

Mores Resources

Group photo of Lisseth Rojas-Flores, Sonia Luginbuhl, Norma Ramirez. and Mark Labberton

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 Seminary under the DACA policy.

Group of students

Advocacy & Support

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

Two college students smiling

College Protection

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

Webinar Sponsors

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