Ms. Arce is appearing courtesy of the Pima County Public Library
Julissa Arce is a political commentator, speaker, writer and best-selling author of "My (Underground) American Dream" and "Someone Like Me." She was named one of People en Español’s 25 Most Powerful Women of 2017. She is a leading voice in the fight for social justice, immigrant rights and education equality. She is a contributor for Crooked Media, CNBC and a host for Crooked Conversations Podcast. Her first book is currently being developed as a television series with producer and actor America Ferrera.
Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street working for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, and had seemingly achieved the American Dream—yet she was not part of what defined American.
Julissa immigrated to America from Mexico at the age of 11 and was undocumented for almost 15 years, some of them spent rising to prominence on Wall Street. In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, Julissa co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF). AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national original or immigration status.
She serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two cats, Nikko and Pancho.