Laura Velazquez graduated from San Francisco State with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and minor in Political Science. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Laura arrived in California when she was three years old. Alone with her young pregnant mother, Laura’s family was in search of a better life and opportunities that were not available in Mexico. Growing up, Laura witnessed the challenges her mother faced, taking in the reality of both the needs and barriers impacting immigrant communities.
Laura faced obstacles in high school due to a lack of support and resources for undocumented students. She enrolled into Diablo Valley Community College before transferring to San Francisco State University, when the California Dream Act and DACA became available. Now, as a DACA recipient, Laura has access to opportunities she didn’t have before. Most importantly, it has given her opportunities to apply to programs such as the DreamSF Fellowship and other employment opportunities. Laura previously served as an Outreach Ambassador at Immigrants Rising. At Immigrants Rising, she delivered presentations throughout the Bay Area on comprehensive information to undocumented students, parents, educators, and allies.
Laura recognizes that there are countless members in her community that are excluded from resources in all areas of life and strives to become a stronger advocate for them. She learned early through her experience and that of others of the injustice of the U.S. immigration system, which has led her to desire to work on issues directly impacting immigrants. Due to this, Laura aspires to become an immigration attorney and give support to the immigrant community.
Laura is placed at Legal Services for Children for her time with the DreamSF Fellowship. LSC focuses on representing minors 21 and under in various types of legal aid, particularly aid for immigrant minors. Laura works alongside attorneys, social workers, law interns and paralegals, assisting attorneys on legal intake of cases, and initial and renewal DACA cases. She will also work on other immigration relief options and have an opportunity to gain legal knowledge through seminars provided by LSC.