Personal Student Advising

Spring 2017 Walk-in Office Hours: Peer Student Coordinators 


Karen : 

My name is Karen Lopez, I am writing to you as one of the three Student Coordinators at the Services for Undocumented Students here at UC Merced. I am a fourth year Public Health major and I enjoy all things public health especially sexual health. Both here on campus and the Merced community I am very involved. I love speaking to people, outreaching and empowering others.

Although I am very confident and empowered I was not always like that. I was born in Sonora Mexico but immigrated to the United States when I was 2 years old. Since my early years as an undocumented individual I have had many struggles with my identity both as an undocumented individual but also with my personal growth. I was raised by a single undocumented mother this effected me very much because the only documented person(s) in my family are my younger brothers.  

Life without documentation is something that many people cannot relate to. Now that DACA is available to some undocumented folks those that it is not available to feel left out and hopeless. I received DACA February 2016, my journey to DACA was vey long and also very frustrating. Those years that I went without DACA I faced many emotions many of those was helplessness. During my time without DACA I felt alone like no one could relate or help, I was wrong, many share the same struggles and emotions that I also faced. I wish that during my struggle I had reached out to folks that also share the same struggle.

I encourage you all to come and meet with me. Ask me questions or just come and chat about life. One the thing I have learned in my 22 years of life is always reach out and ask for help in times of need. You can set up a one-on-one meeting with me by going to this link:

I hope to see and meet you all in the near future.

Karen Lopez  

Monday 11am-3pm
Tuesday N/A
Wednesday 11am-2pm
Thursday 3pm-5pm
Friday N/A



My name is Ines, one of the three student coordinators for Services for Undocumented Students.  I am fourth year undocumented undergraduate student at UC Merced, majoring in Management and Business Economics with a minor in Spanish.  My family and I migrated from Mexico in 2001.

Growing up, the phrase "I am undocumented," wasn't something I would share with anyone at school only at home.  I was surrounded by people with a lack of knowledge what being undocumented really meant.  I didn't want to get teased or look down on.  I was afraid for people's reaction. At home, I was never encouraged to speak up about my status to others, due again to the fear of who you can truly trust.  I recall that every time my friends would bring up traveling to Mexico during winter break, I would stay quiet or leave in order to not be asked ask something I was afraid to say. It was until high school that I began to tell others about my status because I found others in my same situation.  During senior year of high school, when applying for college I had to let counselors and teachers know I was undocumented when looking for resources to help myself.   I didn't get into the desired UC I wanted, nor I got accepted in the fall.  Instead, I was admitted for spring 2014 to UC Merced.  Entering in spring as a freshmen was not the same as it would have been in fall.  Although,  I attended orientation and most services were explained to me, I didn't seek services for undocumented students or didn't even come to Diana's or Alex's office once during my first spring semester.  I learned from them when another undocumented peer spoke to me about them in my fall semester as a sophomore.  Along with learning about them, I learned about other services provided by the office.  In a way, I felt like a transfer student because I didn't get to learn all of the support for undocumented students before my sophomore year.  It was until then I opened myself entirely regarding my status despite of other people's reaction. The support system I have received as an undocumented student has motivated to exceed beyond my own expectations. 

I would like to let you know that you can find peer support system within the Services for Undocumented Students.

You are more than welcome to schedule one-on-one meeting with me through  I look forward meeting you! 


Ines Garcia

Monday 9am-11am
Tuesday 10:30am-1pm
Wednesday 10am-11am; 2-3pm
Thursday N/A
Friday 9-12pm



I am Gabrielle, one of the three student coordinators for the Services for Undocumented Students. I am a fourth year undocumented undergraduate student majoring in Anthropology. My family and I migrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in 2002. I was raised in Glendale, California.

I am open about my status and struggles, but this has not always been the same. I grew up scared and silenced. I was not allowed to tell anyone I was undocumented. The topic of immigration and citizenship has always been taboo in my mother’s household because we were frustrated with our lack of U.S. citizenship. As a result, I grew up very guarded, afraid, and lonely. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about my status. Not being Latina granted me a sense of "privilege”. I didn’t have a support system growing up unlike some undocumented Latino/a students.

I am writing to you to let you know that one of the resources you have is myself as an undocumented API student available at UC Merced to serve as your peer support.

I like to think that UCM is unique because our university strives to create a Culture of Care. Since my time at UC Merced, I have grown so much, intellectually and emotionally, through the support of my professors, the undocumented community, and the Services for Undocumented Students. I hope you would let me take part in your journey at UC Merced.

I would like to understand the best way we, at the Services for Undocumented Students, can support you.

Please feel free schedule a one-on-one meeting with me. I would love to meet you! We can go for coffee, tea, or lunch.

You can schedule a meeting with me via calendly:

I look forward to meeting you all!

All the best,


Monday 3pm-5pm
Tuesday 10:30am-1pm
Wednesday 10am-12pm
Thursday TBD
Friday 10-12pm