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Sonoma County Gazette
Karla Rubio, Student, Outreach Ambassador, Dream Centers

SRJC Dream Center expands to offer free legal advice to undocumented students

Feb 26, 2019


The  Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Dream Center, on the Santa Rosa campus, has expanded and in February will begin an ongoing partnership with  Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy and Services (VIDAS), an organization that provides free legal advice and services to undocumented students.

This partnership will likely emerge as a cornerstone in best practices for Community College Dream Centers, and SRJC is proud to be a leader throughout the country in this regard.

The new location will continue to provide a safe, welcoming environment for undocumented students to be supported through the unique challenges they face in higher education. Specialized programming will also be organized for undocumented students, such as the annual Undocumented Student Week of Action and other activities in collaboration with colleagues throughout the district.

SRJC Dream Center team: Oscar Guajardo, Coordinator, Student Outreach Kyle Wallstrum, Student Success Specialist, Assessment Services Drina Ochoa, Administrative Assistant, Student Outreach Jerry Thao, Counselor, Academic Counseling, Karla Rubio, Student, Outreach Ambassador, Dream Centers Alma Valverde, Coordinator, Dream CentersThe SRJC Dream Center supports SRJC’s mission of diversity by providing:

  • Equal access for all students
  • Multi-ethnic global perspectives and cultural competencies
  • Employees who reflect the communities we serve
  • Honesty and integrity in an environment of collegiality and mutual respect
  • Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy and Services (VIDAS)

VIDAS, a nonprofit immigration law office, was founded in 2014 by Legal Director, Richard Coshnear. The mission of VIDAS is to offer free or low cost, quality legal services to undocumented immigrants in Sonoma County. VIDAS was recently recognized and accredited by the Office of Legal Access programs and selected as lead partner in the Sonoma County Secure Families Collaborative.

Over the years, VIDAS has built a strong relationship of trust with the undocumented students at the Santa Rosa Junior College. VIDAS is excited to join the Santa Rosa Junior College in this unique and vital partnership.

VIDAS will house  Maureen McSorley, an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience and Barbara Ibarra, a paralegal, at the Santa Rosa Junior College Dream Center. McSorley and Ibarra will be available to assist the undocumented students with their legal service needs.

SRJC Dream Center


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