Jorge Rivas recently graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in human physiology with a minor in chemistry. Born in Michoacán, Mexico, Jorge immigrated to the U.S. when he was 12 years old in order to live with his sister who was 22 at the time. He was and he is still in the search of a better life.
Jorge remembers the feeling when arriving to this country: feelings of segregation, isolation, fear, low confidence, racism, stereotyping and discrimination. At that time, he didn’t understand what these feelings meant until his third year as a college student. Later in college, Jorge further discovered that Latinos’ health deteriorates over family generations in the U.S. Exasperated as an agricultural labor worker, Jorge witnessed the ways in which stress takes over immigrants’ health, including his own, due to discrimination, racism, family separation, social injustice and most significantly, fear of deportation. It was at this realization when everything clicked for Jorge.
As a DreamSF Fellow, Jorge now strives to eliminate health inequalities, increase the overall health of immigrants, and alleviate some of the stress and fear of deportation. As his placement at the Labor Center for Immigrant Justice, WE RISE SF, Jorge works with attorneys, immigrant communities, and as an educator on Knowing Your Rights. In addition, Jorge is doing research on acculturative stress among undocumented immigrants. Jorge is dedicated to serving the undocumented and documented community on gaining freedom of deportation, a stable social economic status, and contributing to the reduction of deportations with a long-term goal of improving the health and wellness within Immigrant communities.
Jorge is an aspiring medical physician and an immigrant rights advocate. He is currently is expanding his knowledge on immigration laws, acculturative stress and their intersection with health. Jorge believes that knowledge is the most powerful tool to use against adversity, discrimination and social injustice and that knowledge is gained through education.