Meet the Fellows

Ignacio Hernandez Valverde

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Ignacio Hernandez Valverde is a senior at the University of California, Berkeley pursuing a degree in Film Studies and Public Policy. Growing up in San Diego, California, even from a young age Ignacio often wondered why he and his family lacked access to resources and better living opportunities. As a queer immigrant and first-generation high school and college student, he has worked to improve the resources available to community members like himself. His lived-experiences have shaped who he is and are what drives his passion in advocating for better opportunities.

Ignacio has been recognized as a national student leader through his community engagement in various advocacy platforms. Since community college, Ignacio has balanced school, work in order to help his family, and community advocacy opportunities. As the community college student body president, Ignacio advocated for resources, policies, and workshops to better serve underrepresented communities such as immigrant students, LGBTQ+ members, low-income individuals, and formerly incarcerated members, to name a few. At UC Berkeley, Ignacio serves as the Community Development Coordinator and board member of the university’s Queer Alliance and Resource Center (QARC), an organization that focuses on ensuring the educational and personal success of Queer identifying students. He is preparing for graduate school where he intends to pursue a dual degree in law and public policy. He looks forward to developing as a professional, as well as being a representative of his communities and building that bridge between them and institutions.

Ignacio is excited to develop new advocacy skills and gain professional experience working with a non-profit organization that focuses on providing legal representation to vulnerable community members. As a DreamSF Fellow, Ignacio is working with the LGBT Asylum Project, as their legal fellow. He believes that learning how the judicial branch of the government function can better serve communities in need.

During his free time, Ignacio enjoys visiting new beaches, going on hikes, and listening to music. He is curious and always eager to learn more and re-energizes by staying in contact with family and friends.