Daniel Alfaro

Coordinator of the Undocumented Student Services Center | undoc@ucsd.edu

What do you do and how did you get started?

I manage the development, implementation, and oversight of the programs and services offered to undocumented students on campus. I am passionate about the field of immigrant rights and advocacy. I first became involved in this field through an internship as an undergraduate student at Cal State San Marcos. At that time I was working on a pilot project that studied the impact of an after-school program targeting underrepresented minority students who were, statistically speaking, not likely to go to college. It was an awaking moment for me because I could see myself in those students I was working with, I just had never been in a position where I could see that from a different perspective, i.e., as a researcher. I realize then that millions of students shared the same experiences I lived as a minority student and that there was very little that I or my family could have done, as well as those students and their families, to have access to a good education, and the appropriate resources and guidance needed to achieve our full potential.

How do student workers impact your department? 

All of our student workers are tasked to lead quarterly or year-long projects that support the mission and vision of the Undocumented Student Services Center. Most of our student workers actually come up with these projects on their own, I just provide the supervision and guidance they need to ensure their project is a success. The projects that our student workers are currently leading are focused on immigration awareness, community building, outreach to API undocumented students, advocacy at the local, state, and national level, and new initiatives to attract and retain undocumented students. Student workers are an integral part of the Undocumented Student Services Center. Without them, we would not be able to properly reach our goals.

What can students gain from working in your department?

Two main areas of development I make sure all student workers have are leadership skills and project management skills. Of course, because of the nature of our services, advocacy and policy in the area of immigrant matters is also part of what they are expected to learn.

When does your department typically hire students?

We hire throughout the year. We are actually looking to hire students towards the middle of the spring quarter. Come to the SRS Student Job Fair that will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM at Price Center East Forum (4th floor) to learn about the positions we will be hiring for. We offer two ways for students to join our team; employment as student workers or as volunteers through our very own USS Dream Fellowship program which provides a scholarship award.

When hiring, what are you looking for?

We look for students who can demonstrate leadership, initiative, and creativity. We look for this because we want that person to help us reach new milestones, but we are also committed to the student’s professional development and that is why we encourage students to propose project ideas they can lead. We value uniqueness, so don’t be afraid to stand out. This is what we are looking for.

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