The AB 540 Project is composed of mentoring, workshops, and community college focused components, which educate and empower undocumented students. The Project plans on hosting its 9th Annual Immigrant Youth Empowerment Conference, where over 1,000 attendants go through a series of workshops to learn about how to get to college. The the largest of its kind in the nation, this conference educates attendees from Southern California and beyond through diverse workshops. We plan on having more attendees and live streaming the conference so that undocumented youth throughout the United States can be informed and empowered.
The mentoring component mentors a specific group of undocumented high school students annually. Its holistic curriculum ensures that mentees are ready for college as undocumented students and have the resources they need to excell. The AB 540 Project seeks to improve upon and expand the services it has in place by expanding its extremely effective program from bi-weekly to weekly visits so that mentees in Animo Locke High School in Los Angeles can further strengthen themselves.
Furthermore, the Project has decided to specifically address the needs of undocumented Jr. College students by implementing a new community college component, established as a bi-weekly site at Mission College in the San Fernando Valley to mentor and guide students along their educational trajectory. Networking, training, and educating Mission College staff and faculty will occur prior to initiating the mentoring process in order to facilitate safe spaces and equitable support towards undocumented community college students. This way, undocumented high school students receive the best possible services and can successfully transfer to a four-year university.
Our workshops component is equally effective and has big plans. It has created a digital archive of informative presentations from previous conferences. The archive on the IDEAS website is expanding the Project’s impact to a nationwide level and allowing all undocumented youth know that higher education is attainable. Over 65 workshops have been hosted this year alone. The Project has organized interactive CA DREAM Act application workshops at high schools for the first time this year, where many students filled out their applications to receive state financial aid for the first time. Workshops will continue to be held in the LA area to ensure that all undocumented students and their parents are informed of how they can achieve their dreams of attending college.
Lastly, our project seeks to educate and empower volunteers to extend our reach further. Volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and may or may not be undocumented. As such, we strive to improve our peers’ understanding about undocumented students’ hardships and how they as volunteers may extend themselves and help the undocumented student community.
The services the AB 540 Project provides are educating and creating change in the undocumented community and the overall immigration discourse. Without our services, the undocumented student community might remain uninformed, in the shadows, incapable of reaching their full potential. However, our efforts ensure that undocumented students are empowered.