Meet the Fellows

Kassandra Merlos

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Kassandra is an immigrant born and raised in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, until she migrated to the U.S. with her family at the age of 4. Though her DACA application is still pending, Kassandra continues to advocate and persist in her professional journey. Kassandra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside. She aims to use her degree to be a school-based social worker or case manager in a predominantly immigrant community. Equipped with her academic knowledge, and the lived experience of an immigrant herself, Kassandra hopes she can help bridge the gap between immigrants and social services available to them–regardless of their legal status.

Though she grew up throughout Southern California, it wasn't until Kassandra moved to the Imperial Valley in California at 13 that she realized the difficulty of living in a bordertown without a legal status. She saw first-hand how difficult it is for immigrants to access resources, and from there her passion to support immigrant communities was born. Kassandra’s studies and professional goals are aimed to ensure the immigrant community is connected to the resources necessary to thrive.

Considering the limited resources available to her and her family in the Imperial Valley, Kassandra recently moved to Oakland, California to continue to grow professionally. She has proudly joined the DreamSF Fellowship, and is placed with the LGBT Asylum Project. She hopes to gain experience and knowledge as a fellow to help immigrants in their journeys, gaining particular expertise in asylum support for queer and/or trans migrants.

Outside of her professional interests, she has a keen eye for anything related to fashion and makeup art. Kassandra is a Pisces who enjoys meeting new people, making new friends, and helping members from her community.