Full Name: Carolina Valdivia

Hometown: San Diego, CA, USA

School: Harvard University

Program: PhD in Education


I was born in Mexicali, Baja California.  I came to the United States when I was 12 years old and have grown up undocumented ever since.  I am currently a doctoral student at Harvard University pursuing a career in academia to continue conducting research, teaching, and mentoring students.  I have worked with, and for, undocumented communities, for over seven years as an active member of the San Diego Dream Team, Standing Together As oNe Dream, and United We Dream.  On 2011, I created "My (Un)Documented Life Blog" as a platform to share helpful information and resources with undocumented students pursuing their higher education.

Fun Fact:

I love hiking with my husband, family, and/or friends.  I hope to one day hike some (if not all) of the Appalachian trail.

What advice would you give to future undocumented students applying to graduate programs?

I would definitely recommend undocumented students who are interested in graduate school to not be afraid to ask for help- connect with Professors, current graduate students, contact graduate school admissions/financial aid offices, and more.  The further I went along in my educational path, the more that I realized that I was not alone.  There were several former and current undocumented graduate students and allies willing to help with information, advice, and resources.