At the Podium
- Julissa’s experiences of personal success and heartbreaking loss combine to form a singularly inspiring story
- She provides a first-hand point of view on immigration in the USA, from both an educational and business perspective
- As one of few bilingual speakers on the lecture circuit, Julissa passionately shares her story in both English and Spanish
Julissa shares her story about what it was like “climbing the corporate ladder” as both a Hispanic woman and an undocumented immigrant. While, to many, she seemed to have achieved the American dream, she wondered how issues of 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 an 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.
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.
About Julissa Arce
Julissa Arce is a writer, CNBC contributor, and advocate for immigrant rights and education. She is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students, regardless of their status, ethnicity, or national origin. Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and College Spring. She is the former Director of Public Affairs at Define American, a media organization that uses the power of story to change the narrative surrounding immigration and citizenship. 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. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014. In September 2016, Julissa released her memoir, My (Underground) American Dream.