Vanessa Cuevas is a graduate from San Francisco State University, where she majored in Latina/o Studies with a minor in political science. Vanessa was brought to the United States by her father at the age of 3, along with her older sister who were suffering from extreme poverty in their town. Growing up, Vanessa always knew she was undocumented, but that did not discourage her from pursuing higher education. With Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Vanessa was able to apply to college and get enough financial aid to attend full time.
After joining the 2015 Hunger Strike and rallies for the College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU, Vanessa was inspired to take a class in Latina/o Studies, paving the way to her major. Latina/o Studies taught her how to better support her Latinx community through organizing, advocacy, and education. Being undocumented during her college career pushed Vanessa towards the Dream Resource Center, a service center for undocumented students. As an intern with the Dream Resource Center, she helped organize and participate in several events for undocumented students on campus.
One of Vanessa’s proudest moments was when co-created and co-presented at SFSU’s inaugural Peer Undou-Ally Trainings. Vanessa created a training that prepares student leaders for incoming undocumented students as well as teaching how to be a better ally to undocumented students.
Vanessa’s goal is to become a lawyer and use her education and knowledge to give back to her undocumented community. She hopes to create her own non-profit in her hometown of East Palo Alto, CA that would provide services and guidance to undocumented students pursuing higher education.
For the Dream SF Fellowship, Vanessa is placed at Legal Services for Children (LSC) where she works with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) cases for youth. Vanessa assists with presentations and advocacy for children and young adults.