Cecilia Chavez

Cecilia Chavez

Organizer


Silicon Valley De-Bug

San Jose, CA USA


My experience speaks louder than anything else you’re going to hear, so I’m going to use my experience to change things. It’s only the people who have been through particular things that are going to be the ones to change it.

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Cecilia Chavez

Highlight
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01:15
Cecilia Chavez HighlightInterview Highlight
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06:36
InterviewThe Interview
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02:52
Coping With Your Status As An Undocumented ImmigrantWeb Exclusive
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02:39
Struggling With Getting Into Higher Education As An Undocumented ImmigrantWeb Exclusive
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00:53
Day In The Life Of A Community OrganizerWeb Exclusive
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00:40
Follow What You Want To DoInterview Excerpt
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03:16
My Career PathInterview Excerpt
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My Educational Journey As An Undocumented ImmigrantInterview Excerpt
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01:23
Proving People Wrong As An Undocumented ImmigrantInterview Excerpt

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
I was born in Mexico, but when I was a young child, my family moved to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants.
As a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student, I experienced a lot of negativity growing up, but this just made me work harder in school.
My undocumented status and financial situation affected the schools I could apply to, so I only applied to two schools.
After graduating from high school, I used scholarship money to attend San Jose State University as a justice studies major and Mexican-American studies minor.
Once my scholarship money ran out, I couldn’t afford to keep attending SJSU, but I was able to take my last few classes at San Jose City Community College in order to get my bachelor’s degree.
My original goal was to become a police officer and change the law enforcement stigma in my community, but I couldn’t get an internship at a department or a law firm due to my immigration status.
I started volunteering at Silicon Valley De-Bug, a local community advocacy organization that helped me and my family beat my father’s deportation case.
I am now a full-time organizer at Silicon Valley De-Bug, where I work to support families who are facing charges in the criminal, immigration, and justice systems.

Education

High School
Bachelor
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
San Jose State University
Bachelor
Mexican-American Studies
San Jose State University

Career

Organizer

I support families who are facing charges in the criminal, immigration, and justice systems.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Law
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Basic computer skills are very important. Understanding the community that you work with and their different pain points so that you can better serve them. Empathy and emotional intelligence are crucial.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Get to know the community that you want to work with. Rely on the support you have around you whether that is friends, family, school counselors, mentors, etc.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
undergrad
Bachelor
Mexican-American Studies

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You can't do it."

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
First-Generation College Student
First-Generation Immigrant