Growing up undocumented in Utah truly shaped me into the person I am today. My experiences growing up in the margins of society inform the work I do, and the work I seek to continue doing in this life. I am passionate about working with undocumented students and families and strive to share all my knowledge and experiences with the undocumented community as well as the community as a whole.
I was born in Peru and emigrated to the United States when I was 11. I arrived in Utah with my brother to reunite with our mother, who had come to the US a year before our arrival. Six months after arriving in the US with a tourist visa, my visa expired, and I became one of the 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants in this country.
At this point, I was 12 and a hardworking student, earning good grades and working toward a future that would allow me to repay my mom for all her sacrifices. As a high school student, I enrolled in honors and AP courses, which challenged me and furthered my plans of earning a higher education. I graduated high school with a diploma of merit and went on to the University of Utah where I would major in sociology and be mentored by incredible individuals. Most pointedly, Matt Bradley, Ph.D. (RIP 2012), Caitlin Cahill, Ph.D., and David Quijada Cerecer, Ph.D. My mentors showed me that my work, insight, and contributions as an undocumented student are important, and I truly owe them for showing me that I matter for being who I am.
In 2013, I graduated from the University of Utah with an Honors B.S. in Sociology, and in 2016 with an M.Ed in Educational Leadership & Policy with an emphasis in higher education administration.
I am currently the Dreamer Program Coordinator for the University of Utah, which is the first center for Dreamers in the state of Utah. In the future, I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology with a focus on immigration and labor studies. I have two cats—I love cats—and coffee.
Download Alonso’s and other Dreamer’s posters for print here.