Juan Lopez was born in Michoacán, México and migrated to Hayward, California with his mother when he was 9 months old. Through the optimism and resilience instilled in him by his mother, Juan has flourished and empowered folx to see beyond DACA or citizenship as the “ultimate” goal in life. These programs and policies only further perpetuate the “good immigrant” narrative at the expense of erasing and demonizing the experiences of those subjected to detainment, deportation, abuse, or death by a virulent immigration system.
Juan is currently a senior at the University of California, Berkeley where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Theatre and Performance Studies. At UC Berkeley, Juan is an active member of Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education (R.I.S.E), where he has utilized creative means to formulate work that is both transformative and overall dedicated to bringing visibility to the undocumented coommunity. His artistic interests led him to create a free and reliable professional headshot service for community members to showcase themselves as professionals and be propelled to incredible opportunities for career development.
After completing his undergraduate education, Juan seeks to continue to serve diverse immigrant communities by expanding resources, services, and opportunities to support their future endeavours. As an individual infatuated by the arts, he seeks to invest in his community by cultivating a community arts space that brings visibility to undocumented artists and allows them to explore their artistic talents, receive support in their career paths, and have access the tools and resources integral to bringing their creative aspirations into fruition.
As a DreamSF Fellow, Juan is placed at Immigrants Rising, where he centers accessibility to immigration screenings for community members to understand and explore their immigration options. Juan drafts and tailors memos specific to each individual highlighting their possible or future immigration benefits, relevant educational resources, and opportunities to develop themselves as individuals and professionals.
In his free time, Juan is always up to something new as he enjoys exploring new hobbies. He is enamored with dancing to various genres ranging from bachata, salsa, and cumbia. Additionally, he loves to experiment with mixed media art. He is also immersed into graphic design and has created invitations, web pages, and resume templates. His love for film and photography led him to create his own photography business specifically catered as a reliable and affordable service for his community.