Meet the Fellows

Laura Marini Ferreira

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Laura Marini Ferreira was born in the bright São José do Rio Preto, Brazil. During her childhood, she moved to four different Brazilian cities until her family settled in Caldas Novas, where she lived for most of her life. As Brazil struggled with an economic and political crisis, her family decided to move to the United States to seek better opportunities. Graduating from Hillsdale High School in 2019 marked the start of Laura’s educational journey. Even though she didn’t know about what opportunities were available for undocumented students, she started her pursuit of higher education at the College of San Mateo (CSM).

As she pursued transferring to a 4-year university, Laura found different ways to ground herself by listening to Brazilian music, podcasts, and working on small sewing and crocheting projects. She was a scholar intern at the Multicultural and Dream Center at the College of San Mateo, where she assisted the undocumented community through their path through at CSM. Through this experience, Laura found motivation to pursue higher education because of the mutual support from her community. She transferred to San Jose State University to study Civil Engineering with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies, learning more about the paths available.

As a DreamSF Fellow, Laura is thrilled to be placed at the LGBT Asylum Project. There she will be assisting  with translating documents in Portuguese for affirmative cases,  while also learning about the grant writing process. She hopes to use this new experience to continue to help the undocumented community whichever way she can.