Our People

Julissa Arce

Los Angeles, CA

Julissa Arce is a political commentator, speaker, writer and author of My (Underground) American Dream. She is aleading voice in the fight for social justice, immigrant rights and education equality. She is a contributor for CNBC and the Huffington Post.

Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street working for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, and had seemingly achieved the American Dream—yet she was not part of what defined American.

Julissa immigrated to America from Mexico at the age of 11 and was undocumented for almost 15 years, some of them spent rising to prominence on Wall Street. In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, Julissa co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF). AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national original or immigration status.

Julissa uses her inspirational story to change the conversation around immigration in her book, My(Underground) American Dream (Entre Las Sombras del Sueño Americano). Arce’s personal story of sacrifice, pain and suffering seeks to add a new perspective that will echo the stories of millions living here without a voice.

Arce often gives talks at events such as Tedx and the Forbes Reinventing America Summit and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, FOX News, Telemundo, Bloomberg TV and Univision. She serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center and CollegeSpring. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014.

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