William Mendoza was born in Guerrero, Mexico and migrated to Oakland, CA, with his little sister and grandmother when he was 2 years old. William is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. He graduated with distinction from California State University-Chico in 2018, where he obtained his bachelor's in political science legal studies. William aspires to become a criminal and immigration law attorney.
Growing up in Oakland exposed William to a diverse community. He grew up with predominately undocumented people and African-Americans. William identifies as Afro-Latino because of his roots in Guerrero, Mexico. Despite the racial prejudice that William has experienced because of his complexion, he has developed an open-mind and acceptance of everybody.
When William was young, he witnessed his uncle being taken by ICE and then deported. This experience has shown William firsthand the detrimental impact of family separation on children. William hopes to offer affordable legal services to families with urgent immigration cases, like his uncle’s, at his future law firm. He also aims to open a mentoring and success center for youth who have been through the juvenile justice system.
As a DreamSF Fellow, William is placed at the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) in the Community Real Estate department. He assists the department in developing new affordable housing for low-and moderate-income Latino families in the Mission District.
When William is not organizing in his community, he is growing his business, Churros Califas, and learning more about subjects like real estate, cryptocurrencies, and business ventures.