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Jonathan Francisco Vela-Orozco


Jonathan Francisco Vela-Orozco or, simply Pancho, was born in Guanajuato, México and was brought to San Francisco when he was five years old. Pancho is the eldest of five siblings, enjoys spending time with his family and singing his lungs out to classic Mexican Rancheras from the mid-1900s. He is passionate about ethnic studies, as well as being involved in his community.


Pancho desires to continue pursuing his education at all costs. As he thought he would have to permanently dropout of school to work full-time to support his family, and although it was far from a reality; Pancho’s main desire was to return to school and at least graduate high school. Today, he can the not only graduated high school, but is also proudly working towards his bachelor’s degree at San Francisco State University.


Pancho decided to major in Latino/a Studies because of how the complexities of being first-generation, undocumented, low-income, first-generation Chicano student have deeply influenced his life experiences. Pancho aspires to pursue his master’s in social work and use his degrees as well as lived experiences as resources in order to support the Latinx community, as well as other communities of color in the Bay Area .


Pancho is dedicated to uplifting his community through his work and advocacy. He has been involved in movements such as the “Undocumented, Unafraid and United Students Resolution,” and has served as a volunteer educator at 826 Valencia, supporting under-resourced San Francisco middle school students.


Through his DreamSF Fellowship placement at Catholic Charities, Pancho continues to be involved in his community. Pancho’s role at Catholic Charities includes meeting clients and assisting them through their immigration process, as well as translating documents and gathering research regarding country conditions.