Please tune in today to check out Enrique Morones’ interview with Yadira “Yadi” Ortiz. Yadira Ortiz has been an advocate and educator for undocumented students in California who have dreams of pursuing a college degree, a new career or a career specifically in health. She is the Executive Director of the organization, “Pre-Health Dreamers” (PHD). PHD is a rapidly growing network and community of over 1000 health career bound undocumented students, and their allies, across the United States, representing various career interests. Yadira is a devoted mother of three, and the wife of Juan Rosas, Gente Unida’s Board President and a great activist and humanitarian in his own right.
Together they are an unstoppable force for good. Yadira “Yadi” Ortiz is the daughter of immigrants and hails from California’s Inland Empire region. From a young age she wanted to be an investigative journalist and studied communications at CSU, San Bernardino. Out of college she was hired by the Cal State University system to evaluate the residency status of incoming applicants. In this role she became familiar with the unique challenges undocumented students face, including limited resources and assistance. Yadi’s huge heart and great talents as an advocate have led to her help start programs for undocumented students on CSU campuses and to educate administration, staff and faculty on unique ways to be more inclusive and supportive of this vulnerable student population. During her time as an administrative advocate for undocumented students at the CSU, she saw that she could push for greater change by joining a non-profit organization that worked more broadly and could draw on more diverse resources. Yadira was inspired to apply and join “Pre-Health Dreamers”, an advocacy group that specifically supports undocumented students to pursue a career path in the health fields.
For over a decade, Yadira has collaborated with students, families, staff and faculty in the educational system to advocate for procedural and institutional change. She has continuously been an advocate for students and works to ensure that students are empowered, engaged and encouraged. Yadira has also mentored students, student organizations and their allies in becoming agents of change for themselves and others. Witnessing the lack of assistance for undocumented students in higher education has pushed Yadira to research, create and establish resources, programming, emergency grants and trainings in the CSU and other educational systems. She has created workshops and presentations regarding the following topics: higher education, the needs of undocumented students, ally trainings, how to establish resource centers, the importance of networking and more.
Yadira was fundamental in founding the Dream Success Center at California State University, San Bernardino and was recently the Assistant Director for Long Beach State’s Dream Success Center. Yadira has years of experience in community outreach, advising, and presenting at local and national conferences. She has also been a vocal representative during round table conversations with local consulates, immigration lawyers and counselors to discuss the needs of the community.
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Pre-Health Dreamers https://www.phdreamers.org/
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