Preparing Community College Students to Serve and Empower Low-income Immigrant Communities in California

Media Contact: Andy Briseño
CYLC Communications Manager, Community Learning Partnership (CLP) 

Most recently, the CYLC-CLINIC’s Community-Based Immigration Legal Services Pathway graduated its third cohort. With a 100% program graduation rate, this milestone is moving CYLC-CLINIC students one step closer to becoming DOJ accredited. CLP-CYLC and CLINIC are immensely proud of the growth and resilience of CYLC-CLINIC students, especially amid the rising challenges that affect low-income immigrant communities. This third cohort marks CYLC and CLINIC’s successful partnership in serving and increasing the capacity of community-based immigration legal services providers and well-trained legal advocates in our communities. 

Over the past six months, CYLC-CLINIC student fellows have immersed themselves in CLINIC’s COIL course, an eight-week virtual e-course that provides students with an overview of immigration law. The course complements work-based learning activities at a DOJ-accredited community-based organization, where participants gain the skills to practice immigration law in their local communities. Importantly, some CYLC-CLINIC student fellows are already beginning their careers in immigration law, as some have been hired to work at their fellowship placements upon completing their work-based learning assignments.

Lupe Flores, a graduate of the CYLC-CLINIC Winter 2023 cohort for CYLC-CLINIC’s Immigration Legal Services Pathway Fellowship Program shared her experience in our program gaining work-based learning experience at their fellowship placement, Education and Leadership Foundation. “Overall, this experience is amazing. I would have never thought I would eventually want to pursue this career in the law field. But getting to meet amazing people who are motivated and inspired to help out their community really inspired me, and I felt so happy to see the relief in peoples faces when the attorney and I were helping them out. I want to continue going to school and eventually go to law school to be an immigration attorney.”

Genet Areda, CYLC’s Program Director reflected on the impact of this cohort, “We’re so happy to celebrate our fellows’ completion of one of the hardest immigration law courses to take across the country. Our students not only put in time in class but also completed the most amount of hours than any previous cohort working in local nonprofits. Students got the chance to really expand their knowledge of the various roles they can have in local nonprofits from researching resources to meeting with clients. I can’t wait to see what this class does next.” 

Moving forward, CLP-CYLC is hopeful that its graduates will continue to drive positive change in their local communities, uplifting and advocating for immigrant rights. Join CLP-CYLC-CLINIC in congratulating its Winter 2023 cohort. We at CLP-CYLC wish these students well as they embark on their next chapter, equipped with the skills and passion to make an impact in low-income immigrant communities and their chosen fields.