Julissa Arce headshot

Julissa Arce

Immigration and Education Advocate; Co-Founder/Chairman Ascend Educational Fund

Julissa shares her incredible true story of reaching the top of the corporate ladder as both a Latina woman and an undocumented immigrant. While, to many, she seemed to have achieved the American dream, she struggled to understand how bureaucracy and status made her any less of an American. She discusses how this inner conflict, as well as the plight of the millions of other undocumented Americans living in the U.S., compelled her to leave Wall Street and pursue a career as a writer and immigration rights advocate. Through Julissa’s personal stories, audiences will gain a new perspective on what it means to achieve the “American dream.”

As one of few bilingual speakers on the lecture circuit, Julissa is happy to do speeches in both English and Spanish.

BIO

Julissa Arce is a political commentator, speaker and best-selling author of My (Underground) American Dream. She was named one of People en Español’s 25 Most Powerful Woman of 2017. She is a leading voice in the fight for social justice, immigration rights and education equality. Her second book Someone Like Me is her first Young Adult book and was published in September 2018.

Julissa is a contributor for Crooked Media, CNBC and one of the hosts for “Crooked Conversations” Podcast. My (Underground) American Dream is currently being developed as a television series at FOX with producer and actor America Ferrera.

Her commitment to education for all young people led her to co-create the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF) where she serves as chairwoman of the board. AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national original or immigration status. Since its founding in 2012, AEF has awarded over $320,000 in college scholarships.

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. She made national and international headlines when she revealed that she had achieved the American Dream of wealth and status at Goldman Sachs while undocumented.

She has appeared on CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC, NPR, Fox Business News, Telemundo, Bloomberg TV and Univision among other networks. Her writing has been published on Crooked Media, The Huffington Post, Fusion, CNN, CNN en Español, The Hill, and Univision. She serves on the board for the National Immigration Law Center and College Spring.

She has appeared on the cover of Alegria Magazine, received the Los Angeles Times “Latinos de Hoy Emerging Leader Award, the NAHREP’s Vanguard Award, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Inspira Award, among other recognitions.

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. Her story has a happy ending and she fights so more people can say the same.

Julissa Arce is a political commentator, speaker and best-selling author of My (Underground) American Dream. She was named one of People en Español’s 25 Most Powerful Woman of 2017. She is a leading voice in the fight for social justice, immigration rights and education equality. Her second book Someone Like Me is her first Young Adult book and was published in September 2018.

Julissa is a contributor for Crooked Media, CNBC and one of the hosts for “Crooked Conversations” Podcast. My (Underground) American Dream is currently being developed as a television series at FOX with producer and actor America Ferrera.

Her commitment to education for all young people led her to co-create the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF) where she serves as chairwoman of the board. AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national original or immigration status. Since its founding in 2012, AEF has awarded over $320,000 in college scholarships.

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. She made national and international headlines when she revealed that she had achieved the American Dream of wealth and status at Goldman Sachs while undocumented.

She has appeared on CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC, NPR, Fox Business News, Telemundo, Bloomberg TV and Univision among other networks. Her writing has been published on Crooked Media, The Huffington Post, Fusion, CNN, CNN en Español, The Hill, and Univision. She serves on the board for the National Immigration Law Center and College Spring.

She has appeared on the cover of Alegria Magazine, received the Los Angeles Times “Latinos de Hoy Emerging Leader Award, the NAHREP’s Vanguard Award, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Inspira Award, among other recognitions.

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. Her story has a happy ending and she fights so more people can say the same.

Media

"I don’t think there’s been a greater discussion about immigration than there is today and Julissa’s message is on point, timely and truly adds a different perspective to the immigration debate."

H.E.B

SPEECH TOPICS

The American DREAMer: From Undocumented to Wall Street & Immigration Advocacy

Diversity & Immigration

Climbing the Wall Street Ladder

Following Your Passions

Books & Media
My Underground American Dream book cover