Meet SEARAC's Intern: Nayelli Casarrubias, University of California, Davis

Jul 15 Meet SEARAC's Intern: Nayelli Casarrubias, University of California, Davis

Nayelli Casarrubias

Hello everyone! My name is Nayelli and I’ll be working in SEARAC’s California Office this summer as a Dream Summer Intern. I recently graduated from the University of California Davis, where I majored in Psychobiology and minored in Italian. I was born in Mexico City and raised there till the age of 9 years old. After that my family and I migrated to the United States, and we settled in Southern California. It was at this young age that I began to be exposed to what it was to be an immigrant.

I was enrolled in a school where 90% of the students were White and did not speak any Spanish. I enjoyed school when I was in Mexico but feeling like a stranger made me dislike school so much to the point I would cry everyday on my way to school. My parents, being supportive and caring, did the best they could to help ease my transition. I was fortunate because a tutor was assigned to me by my school, but my parents were not as lucky. I began to pick up the language, assimilate into the culture and thrive in school. However, my parents’ experience was completely different and more challenging. They were discriminated against several times and the language barrier kept them from many job opportunities. I am proud of them because they never gave up and persevered.

My brother and I at my graduation from UC Davis!!!!

Having migrated to the US allowed me to experience firsthand many of the injustices and disparities that our communities face. For this reason, when I came to college I made a conscious decision to get involved in the movement. I became involved in a group on campus called S.P.E.A.K. (Scholars Promoting Education Awareness and Knowledge) which advocates for the rights of undocumented students. I wanted to educate others about what we experienced -- experiences such as not having health insurance, having to wait excessive amounts of hours to see a doctor for 15 minutes, being unable to purchase medication or having to pay for certain services and being discriminated against for being born in Mexico. These experiences motivated me daily and shaped who I have become. I also wanted to educate others about ways of improving our current conditions specifically around immigration and health issues.  I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to experience what I did because it was humbling and helped me appreciate my parents’ struggle and my health a lot more.

My second family at UC Davis,S.P.E.A.K, the AB540 group at UC Davis.

In my time here at SEARAC, I am hoping to continue to fight for equal access to health services, quality job opportunities, and a path towards citizenship for our communities whom I can relate to on a personal level. Some of my goals are to build more bridges between our communities, take our stories and voices to where they have not been heard, and become educated about more health, immigration, and the issues surrounding other communities.  



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