Two new staff members will join Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program this fall — a full-time psychologist and a full-time immigration attorney. The program, a national model for other colleges and universities since its start in 2012, expects to serve nearly 400 undocumented students from more than 20 countries in 2015-16.
Both positions, the first of their kind at a college or university in the United States, were acutely needed and are being funded by private donors, says Fabrizio Mejia, executive director of the Berkeley Centers for Education Equity and Excellence.
Elise Haas is providing multi-year funding for the psychologist. Dr. Diana Peña, a staff member at Berkeley’s Counseling and Psychological Service (CPS), is already on the job at her new spot in the Undocumented Student Program’s headquarters in the Cesar Chavez Center.
Jeff Hawkins provided seed funding for immigration attorney Prerna Lal, of the East Bay Community Law Center, who will help undocumented students and their families navigate complex and sometimes quickly changing laws and policies about immigration, their legal rights and privileges, and the higher education obstacles and possibilities facing undocumented college students.
Read more about the undocumented student program at Berkeley News.