• What’s New?

    Denisse Rojas receives The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

    One of the most prestigious fellowship for graduate studies, The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, announced their 2016 recipients.The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans offers a grant of $90,000 to immigrants or children of immigrants in the United States. Previous recipients of the Paul and Daisy Soros fellowship include U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Pardis Sabeti, the leading Ebola research, and over 535 other new American leaders. Among the recipients is our Pre-Health Dreamers founding member Denisse Rojas Marquez. Out of 1,446 applications, 70 finalists, only 30 selected, Denisse was the only DACA recipient this year. Denisse is currently attending Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.  She is one of two undocumented students attending this institution. Denisse is the second DACA recipient to receive the Soros Fellowship and the first to be attending medical school



    Sumbul Siddiqui

    Meet Sumbul Siddiqui, former Neuroscience student at Agnes Scott College, 15’ seeking to pursue a career in medicine. Last June Sumbul was granted advanced parole and was enabled to travel to Pakistan to meet her relatives for the first time in two decades and was even awarded a Project for Peace Award for the work she and her partner were able to accomplish.

    Sumbul’s proposal for the Davis Projects for Peace Program was created with the goal of establishing a computer lab and library room to give the students and teachers of Iqra Islamia School a platform for learning, and through the internet, sharing their ideas with a larger community. The amazing work Sumbul contributed to as a part of her project paved an opportunity for Sumbul to not only learn more of her Pakistani heritage, but also to empower the instructors of Iqra Islamia School with technology and training in programs such as powerpoint that will improve the education of the local community for years to come.

    From the words of Sumbul: “I’ve learned through this project in Pakistan that we often take the tiniest things for granted in life, and the most important thing that molds us as to who we are today comes from our education. Our understanding of one another comes from the quality of education that we receive, and when we are equipped with the necessary tools, we can promote peace and understanding amongst each other.”

    Relive her journey through her project’s blog PakiProject4Peace2015 and official report.

    PHD E-Newsletter 


    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 Commission) 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



    MiMentor Health Careers Conference (6/20/16 |Cerritos, CA)

    Hosted by Cerritos College Chicanos/Latinos for Community Medicine (CCM) MiMentor will bring over 400 aspiring healthcare professionals, and their parents, health care professional mentors, advisors, faculty, and community organizations.

    The conference is divided into 4 tracks, each having their specific workshops and resources.

    High School Track: High School students of all grade levels
    Junior Track: Community College Students, 1st and 2nd year Undergraduates
    Senior Track: 3rd and 4th year Undergraduates,  Post-bacc students
    Parent Track: Parents of high school or junior track students only. The workshops will be facilitated in Spanish.

    When: Saturday, April 23rd 2016, 7:15 AM – 4:30 PM
    Where: Student Center, Cerritos College 11110 Alondra Blvd Norwalk, CA 90650

    To sign-up for this incredible event, please go to MiMentor.org. In order to register for this conference we ask that you create a MiMentor profile, if you do not already have one, so that we can keep you updated with important information and future events. It is free, fast and easy!

    Immigrant Day 2016 (5/23/16 | Sacramento, California)

    This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Immigrant Day! Since 1996, the California immigrant rights movement has convened annually at the state capitol for a day of advocacy, education and unity, demanding better rights and treatment for immigrant communities. Join us this year for Immigrant Day 2016, as hundreds of immigrants and advocates from across California raise a unified voice in Sacramento in support of state proposals that advance immigrant integration and prosperity for all Californians.

    WHEN: Monday – May 23, 2016, 8AM – 4PM*
    WHERE: West Steps (10th Street), State Capitol

    *Please plan to arrive by 9am to participate fully in the day’s events

    Find information  on registration here.Deadline to Register: April 22nd

    PNHP Healthcare Equity Day (5/25/16 -5/27/16 | Sacramento, California)

    • Support the Health For All Act SB10 to extend coverage to the remaininguninsured/undocumented
    • Support the right to universal, comprehensive, high quality and publicly-funded healthcare for everyone

    The two day event is as follows: 

    Sunday, May 15th – Health4All Leadership Conference at Sacramento State

    Monday, May 16th – Visits with State Legislators; March, Rally, Demonstration and Press Conference at the Capitol

    For details and registry click here.

    9th Annual Immigrant Empowerment Conference (5/28/16 | Los Angeles, California)

    The AB540 Project and IDEAS at UCLA would like to cordially invite you to attend our 9th Annual Immigrant Empowerment Conference (IYEC): Borders Divide, Struggles Unite!

    This free, day-long event is open to students, parents, educators, allies and community members, and aims to raise awareness about the various pertinent and urgent issues that impact the undocumented community. Through our keynote speakers, workshops and interactive activities, this conference aims to educate, empower and provide attendees with a platform to understand and navigate legislation, financial, legal and mental health resources, and complex intersections of identity and immigration status. There is much work to be done, but even the smallest efforts contribute to the largest movements.

    For more information and RSVP form click here. RSVP by May 16th!
    *If you are bringing a group of 25 people or more, you are eligible for submitting a transportation request by April 4th.  Transportation must be requested upon registration and it is not guaranteed.

    If you have any questions or would like a flyer in a different language, please email at ideas.ab540project@gmail.com or visit http://ideasla.org.

     Happenings Around the Country

    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.


    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.

    D2D Screening Flyer Web 2

    “Dreamers to Doctors” Short – Take Action


    KQED’s Perspectives: Jirayut

    KQED Perspectives Thumbnail

    “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!


    Cover Photo Quote WordPress