• What’s New?

    PHD E-Newsletter November 9th 2015


    Greetings PHDreamers and allies, we are excited to be moving forward with our monthly E-newsletter series. We hope this E-newsletter will serve to help keep everyone updated with the latest happenings surrounding Pre-Health Dreamers, immigrant health advocacy and student resources. Additionally, the E-newsletter will list upcoming events and socials to connect our membership with peers, mentors and opportunities.

    We want to start this newsletter acknowledging some exciting movement in California. Recently, MedDreamers, a new medical student group at UCLA (http://www.meddreamers.org), worked with several partners to advocate for California Medical Association’s (CMA) support for greater loan and aid options for undocumented medical students. Congrats to MedDreamers for working with the CMA and for getting their support. We look forward to more updates on the medical association and ways to share this practice in other states. To see CMA’s commitment please visit:


    Wishing everyone a happy Monday, please enjoy your read!

    -Angela Chen

    Here is an Undocu-Relevant quote to kickstart the week:

    PHDreamers in the News

    Univision released a feature on Pre-Health Dreamers on their website and touched upon the stories of several amazing PHDreamers!

    PHD’s very own Denisse Rojas and Laura Aguilar were recently featured Capital Public Radio along with Andrea Gaytan (UC Davis Undocumented Student Center), Angelo Williams (CA Student Aid Commision) to higher education and the challenges faced by Undocumented Students.



    Laura Aguilar, a 23 year old undocumented student at UC San Francisco’s School of Dentistry story is spotlighted on Capital Public Radio.

    Who’s the first undocumented medical student at University of California Irvine? That would be Oscar Hernandez! Read about Oscar’s journey as a doctor to be without borders.

    Upcoming Events


    Scholarships A-Z 6th Annual Benefit Dinner (11/13/15 | Tucson, Arizona)
    If you live in or near Tucson, Arizona we want to meet with you. Angela and Mithi (PHD’s Institutional Advocate) are planning to visit the University of Arizona College of Medicine and they would love to meet with you during their trip to AZ. Please email Angela at
    angela@phdreamers.org if you are available to attend the dinner to meet up.

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    University of California, Irvine Latina/o Medical Student Association Pre-Health Conference (11/14/15 | Irvine, California)

    A great panel of PHD members will be there to share about PHD, including Oscar Hernandez the first undocumented student at the UCI medical school Please join us. For more information refer to their Event Page.

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    E4FC Gathering (12/05/15 | San Francisco, California)

    PHD members in the Bay Area are invited to be part of the E4FC winter gathering. The gathering is a casual event, happening at the E4FC office in San Francisco with yummy food and the E4FC family. RSVP email will be sent out shortly! We hope to see you there!

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    PHD Southern California Gathering (12/12/15 | Los Angeles, California)
    Another chance to meet up in person! We’re planning a casual and informative get-together in Los Angeles. It’s potluck style and we’re finalizing the location for the get-together. We’re sending out invites soon. Mark your calendars, we’ll keep you posted.

    Know of any relevant upcoming events or socials in your local area? Let us knowso we can share the details!

    Happenings Around the Country

    United We Dream National Educators Coming Out Day (11/12/15 | US)

    Educators and students across the nation will be celebrating United We Dream’s 3rd Annual National Educators Coming Out Day on November 12, 2015! PHD invites you to join UWD in the celebration by encouraging you to  publicly show your support for undocumented students and their families via an online social media campaign! You can help jump start the campaign by  taking the pledge  to participate in National Educators Coming Out Day onNovember 12 and by following the steps in this social media toolkit.

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    Undocumented and Black Convening (1/15/16 | Miami, Florida)

    A first-of-its kind space for undocumented and black folks to heal, organize, and be empowered by each other. The Convening planned for January 15-17 will create a safe space for black undocumented folks to develop acceptance, to own their stories and be active in creating change for our communities. For more information please refer to theirwebsite or contact info@undocublack.org

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    Student Group Spotlight

    Pre-Health Dreamers: California State University LA









    Our chapter at CSU LA aims to support and advocate for all undocumented students on their path towards a career in health. Their latest goals seek to create resources for our members as well as planning a Pre-Health Conference in the near future on their local campus.

    If you live in or near Los Angeles CA consider joining their organization! Contact Evelyn or check out their Facebook page for more information and fill out their membership form!

    Welcome PHD’s New Director: Dr. Angela Chuan-Ru Chen

    Dr. Angela Chuan-Ru Chen

    Dr. Angela Chuan-Ru Chen

    Please join us in welcoming Dr. Angela Chuan-Ru Chen as the new Pre-Health Dreamers Project Director! Angela was selected among a competitive applicant pool based on her strong experience as an educator to undocumented college students, her motivations to engage in institutional advocacy efforts, and her relevant educational background. Having been undocumented herself for 16 years, her experiences as an undocumented student throughout her undergraduate career has been an influence for her passion to support the undocumented student community.

    Angela most recently worked as the Director of the Undocumented Student Program at UCLA which served over 500 undocumented students, launched new programming, and built resources across campus departments to better serve undocumented students. We’re confident these skills will help her serve the pre-health undocumented community.

    Additionally, Angela‘s institutional advocacy includes leading University of California system-wide efforts to increase awareness about policies that impact undocumented students and guiding universities across the nation to develop support programs for undocumented youth. Angela‘s experience in improving institutional practices will expand PHD’s efforts to increase access to health careers for the undocumented community.

    Moreover, Angela completed academic training in UCLA’s Graduate School of Education which will strengthen PHD’s mission and strategic planning to engage in effective and impactful work.


    Health Professions Advancement Program – DEADLINE EXTENSION

    Apply now! Application materials will continue to be accepted until 11:59 PM PST on WEDNESDAY AUGUST 14, 2015. Find out more information on applying, and reading the Frequently Asked Questions.

    Immigrant Leaders Talk Undocumented Students And Higher Education: “Dignity Days” Chat

    A must-watch recording of the virtual conversation (click here), along with a list of resources for undocumented students, below.

    A big thanks to leaders and students from UWD, NILC, the Domestic Workers Alliance, DRM Action, PHDreamers, Harvard University, and Colorado State University for joining us.

    Panelists shared their experiences navigating the higher education system as undocumented students, many of whom graduated before the implementation of DACA.


    Latino USA: Dreams Become Reality for Undocumented Med Students

    May 15, 2015

    “It’s so hard to see someone get on a plane and not know when you’re going to see them again.” Denisse Rojas recounts the last time she saw her mother who in dire need of a surgery immigrated to Canada.

    “When my mom left, that’s what gave me the fuel to know that I want to do medicine and overcome the obstacles that come along the way.”

    Listen to NPR’s Latino USA compelling radio piece on Denisse’s journey to medicine, the story of Pre-Health Dreamers, and the injustice undocumented communities face in the healthcare system.

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    “Dreamers to Doctors” Short – Take Action


    KQED’s Perspectives: Jirayut

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    “Today I’m blessed with the opportunity to pursue my aspirations of becoming the doctor that my community needs and deserves. However, to fulfill that role I must continue to advocate for increased access to health careers and health care coverage for all people regardless of immigration status. I want to be part of a just and humane health care system that doesn’t discriminate because of immigration status and that will allow me to provide care to my very own family. That’s precisely why I’m advocating for “Health For All” in California.

    I share my story in the hopes that no other undocumented student will ever have to feel hopeless, isolated, and powerless ever again in their pursuit of health & science careers. That is the mission of Pre-Health Dreamers.”

    Hear New’s story


    Hot Off the Press!

    ATTENTION all undocumented pre-med students! Be sure to check out our first Medical School FAQ guide for answers to all the essential questions.

    Can you attend medical school? How do you talk about your status in your application — should you?….and more!


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