In 2020, Sharet Garcia launched Undocuprofessionals, a free online mentorship program that connects undocumented mentees with undocumented mentors who have professional careers. Alongside the mentorship program, Garcia uses Instagram to provide information about undocumented opportunities and news nationwide. 

“I wanted to give back to my community. I knew if I started a platform like this, it would push me to work harder as well,” said Garcia.

Garcia, 37, is an undocumented advocate, who became a single mother and head of the household in 2020. While looking for ways to bring income, Garcia had a passion to look for a space that granted undocumented young adults with resource allocation during and after college. 


“There is no platform where you can find other undocumented professionals, our community needs to see them in order for us to feel empowered,” said Garcia. 

The ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)  from the panel of The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has stated DACA as unlawful. The fear and stress now infest the undocumented community even more. 

But, with spaces such as Undocuprofessionals, it allows for the community to have a sense of hope. “I value having an organization that gives a boost of confidence and pushes you harder to accomplish your goals,” said Kyra Mitchel, a criminal justice professional and mentor at Undocuprofessionals. 


Through their mentorship program, mentees are able to access opportunities from not only their state, but nationwide. “What I love about this mentorship program is that it is fully online, mentees are able to connect with mentors from the comfort of their home and hear about opportunities anywhere,” said Mitchel. The mentorship program helps undocumented young adults build their resume with the help of a professional, as well as building a network and opportunities within your career field. 

When the program was initiated in 2020, “200 mentors and around 150-200 mentees registered,” said Garcia. Now, the program has grown to 700-800 mentees and mentors overall. The program is for the community, by the community. 

“No mentor is paid, it is crazy to me how so many people want to mentor,” said Garcia. With gratitude, Garcia hopes that in the future, these undocumented mentors are also paid. “How can we as an organization initiate things like getting our mentors paid, we the undocumented community needs to stop doing things for free,” said Garcia. 

The uniqueness of this program is that all their mentors are undocumented as well, or have a close family member going through the same struggles. This is highly significant since it gives comfort to undocumented young adults to talk about their situation. 

Uncomfortable about status

“I was never comfortable talking about my status with someone who is not undocumented, they do not know the limited resources and opportunities we have,” said Mitchel. Many are not aware of the difficulty and courage to talk about their status and the borders that are put when chasing their goals.

 “I wish I would have learned about a program like this sooner, I feel like as a first generation undocumented student, I get intimidated to seek guidance,” said Diana Espinosa, a 2nd year Business student at Cerritos Community College. 

The anxiety to look for resources within one’s own campus can also be an issue, she said.

 “School resources are pretty limited, I have only gone to my school’s undocumented center once because counselors can not be very helpful,” said Espinosa. 

In situations where programs like Undocuprofessionals are not introduced to, undocumented centers still push as many resources as they can. 

California State Universities

In college, students at the 23 California State University campuses have some support through what are called Dream Centers. One of many is seen at the California State University, Long Beach, Dream Success Center.

“Our Dream Success Center responds right away, what do our students need right now, having teen leaders is important so that we can ask them what they need and what does the community need,” said Jordi Conde, the lead coordinator at the Dream Success Center at California State University, Long Beach. 

Being that Undocuprofessionals is still growing their platform, it is fundamental to analyze the resources that are present. “At our center we provide food, we give out computer/calculator loans, prep books for those who cannot afford them, and a place to feel seen,” said Conde. But the center also is aware of their areas of improvement. “We are a center that continues growing, but we also must take into consideration what support we can offer folks that are no longer enrolled, it gets tricky because many still need to be enrolled to fully utilize these tools,” said Conde. 

This organization has found challenges that puts some of their future goals on hold. “We lack support from other undocumented organizations, I reached out to, and they have denied and ignored me,” said Garcia. The complications to find funding from organizations stems from how the undocumented community is seen. “Opportunities are not granted to us because of white supremacy, where undocumented people are seen as less knowledgeable,” said Garcia. 

Moving forward, Undocuprofessionals is scouting for new approaches on how to grow their platform and be heard. “Schools are learning that we are providing jobs for undocumented youth,” said Garcia. Now, there is optimism for the undocumented community to show off their skills and talent. “A program like this is inspiring for the younger generation of undocumented students, for the current generation of undocumented students it gives hope that if another undocumented person can do it, so can I,” said Espinosa.

This story was originally published at DÍG EN ESPAÑOL, the bilingual journalism magazine published by students at Long Beach State.

Natalia Ángeles Pestañas

Natalia Ángeles Pestañas is a junior majoring in Public Relations at California State University, Long Beach. Pestañas is a freelancer with CALÓ NEWS.