The UCLA Dream Resource Center (DRC) is excited to announce that Cuauhtemoc Salinas Martell will serve as the DRC’s Alumni Coordinator and Gaby Gil and Jessica Olivares will serve as DRC Project Coordinators. Salinas, Gaby, and Jessica have the skills, knowledge, passion, and first-hand experience to successfully carry out the DRC’s legacy of empowering immigrant youth and allies. As alumni of the DRC’s Dream Summer fellowship, Salinas, Gaby, and Jessica will bring critical insights as to how the DRC can improve its programming and alumni engagement.
Cuauhtemoc Salinas Martell (he/him/they), DRC Alumni Coordinator
Cuauhtemoc Salinas Martell is an alum of the 2012 Dream Summer fellowship cohort and credits the DRC for inspiring him to pursue higher education and his passion for social justice. From a young age, Salinas understood the need to organize and advocate for himself and marginalized community members. As a senior in high school, Salinas collaborated with the University of California and over 20 admissions counselors to promote the recruitment and retention of undocumented and marginalized students like himself. In 2012, Salinas joined the Dream Summer fellowship to further his organizing and advocacy skills.
Since completing the fellowship, Salinas has been dedicated to serving underrepresented and marginalized youth because he understands first-hand some of the struggles they face. Salinas has a B.A. in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Social Work from the University of Michigan. While at UC Berkeley, Salinas served underrepresented students and revamped the Health Opportunity Fund which supported over hundreds of students to offset their medical and health charges. At the University of Michigan, Salinas served as the representative for the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Student Advisory Board.
Gaby Gil (she/they), DRC Project Coordinator
Gaby Gil is a proud alum of the 2017 Dream Summer fellowship cohort and is dedicated to ensuring that undocumented and DACAmented people are supported and empowered to thrive. Gaby has a background in grassroots organizing for immigrant rights and has experience in curriculum and program development centered on immigrant issues. Gaby graduated from Whittier College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Spanish. At Whittier College, Gaby worked with peers to create more resources for undocumented students including an undocu emergency fund, pro bono legal services, and ally trainings for faculty and staff.
Over the years, Gaby has volunteered at various nonprofit organizations—like Cosecha and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration—to advocate for immigrant communities by coordinating demonstrations and organizing with community members. Gaby is passionate about uplifting the stories of immigrant youth and helping them reach their full potential as leaders in the immigrant rights, labor, and social justice movements. They looks forward to collaborating with DRC fellows, partners, and alumni to advance opportunities for immigrant communities and work towards a more just and equitable world.
Jessica Olivares (she/her), DRC Project Coordinator
Jessica Olivares is an alum of the 2019 and 2020 Dream Summer fellowship cohorts and graduated from Mills College with a minor in Urban Education and a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Sociology. During her time as an undergraduate at Mills College, Jessica researched legislation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and immigrant detention centers in the United States. She analyzed media coverage to understand the perspective left-leaning media had on DACA and how that affected the immigrant rights movement. Her research also included testimonials from undocumented people, who had been detained, to draw attention to the negative impact and human cost of immigrant detention centers.
Jessica also has extensive experience in community outreach. Prior to joining the DRC, her work focused on providing South Central L.A. tenants information and resources about their legal protections. At the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, Jessica co-facilitated Know Your Rights presentations and community meetings on the reimagining of health resources. Jessica was also a member of the Promesa Boyle Heights immigrant rights network and led Know Your Rights workshops for immigrant communities.
Mayra Castro and Leticia Bustamante
(L-R) Leticia Bustamante, Mayra Castro, and George Chacon representing the DRC at the 2019 UCLA Labor Center annual banquet.
As the DRC welcomes Salinas, Gaby, and Jessica, the DRC would also like to thank Mayra Castro and Leticia Bustamante for their leadership and immense contributions as the DRC’s project coordinators for close to 4 years. Mayra and Leticia are no longer serving as DRC project coordinators and are currently pursuing other career and life goals. Leticia is completing her master’s in public policy at UCLA and Mayra is currently the Communications Manager at Faith in Action.
Both Mayra and Leticia are incredible leaders whose dedication to the DRC’s mission and strategic thinking led to milestones such as the ten-year anniversary of the DRC’s Dream Summer fellowship. Without Mayra and Leticia, the Dream Summer fellowship would not be as successful as it is today. The DRC wishes Mayra and Leticia the best on their career and life journeys. They are greatly missed but the DRC is happy to know that they are pursuing their passions and life goals.