Ernesto Cuellar is a Political Science major at Sonoma State University. Ernesto migrated to the United States at a young age with his brother and parents. Although confusing at first, his curiosity and love of community pushed Ernesto to quickly adapt to the ways of American culture and embrace San Francisco as his adoptive hometown.
Throughout his time in the U.S., Ernesto has gained an interest for helping people in his community and help afford others the opportunities given to him and his family. After the shocking 2016 election, Ernesto decided to dedicate his career to tilting the institutional balance in favor of his community. Through volunteer work for political campaigns that align with his values and vision for the future as well as the desire to pursue a career as a Public Defender.
Ernesto believes communities should not have to choose between being able to raise their kids in a safe neighborhood and the possibility of dying at the hands of the law. His passion lies in the need to transform the way his community interacts with law enforcement and vice versa. He hopes to bring nuance to a conversation that is often discussed as a binary.
Being placed in African Advocacy Network (AAN), Ernesto hopes to further his knowledge in the practice of immigration law on both defense and affirmative proceedings. AAN is special for Ernesto as they serve an underrepresented migrant community that his family shares a connection with.
Ernesto has previously worked with Mural Music Art Project (MMAP) and the YMCA on community beautification projects. As well as helping recently arrived refugee youth with their transition into the American school system through Rustic Pathways. He attended a performing arts high school in San Francisco, where he was trained in the theatre arts. In his free time, Ernesto enjoys local theatre, hanging out with friends, hiking around San Francisco.