Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce

Activist / Author

"My (Underground) American Dream"

Las Vegas, NV USA

If I wasn't going to achieve my dreams, it wasn't going to be because I didn't try.


By Roadtrip Nation

Julissa Arce


My road in life has taken me all over.
She originally came to the U.S. when she was 11 on a tourist visa; when she was 14, that tourist visa expired, but she remained.
She knew she was undocumented, but she didn’t know how much that would affect her life.
Paid her way through the University of Texas, Austin by running a funnel cake stand, but when that was shut down by the city of San Antonio, she realized she’d need to find new employment.
Finding a new job meant she’d have to buy fake papers—which scared her—but she didn’t want to give up, move back to Mexico, and lose out on all her hard work.
Instead, she decided that she wasn’t going to let her lack of papers define her; instead, she’d be defined by her hard work, ambition, and intelligence.
She got a job at prestigious Wall Street firm, Goldman Sachs, and steadily rose through the ranks; however, the stress of her secret kept gnawing away at her, and she eventually quit.
After seeing Jose Antonio Vargas’ documentary, "Undocumented," she decided to speak out about her own story, quickly gaining national fame.
In 2015, she became an American citizen, but she still acts as an advocate for immigration reform, recently penning a book about her struggles called "My (Underground) American Dream."
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Activist / Author

I'm a speaker, author, immigrant rights advocate, and former wall street executive.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Accomplishing Goals


Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant