Ximena Valdarrago was born in Lima, Peru, and migrated to the United States with her family when she was five years old. She was raised in the midst of the bustling immigrant communities of Los Angeles, CA. From a young age, her parents instilled in her and her little brother the value of an education, a strong work ethic, and pride in being an immigrant. She is currently a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in English and Political Science.
As an undocumented immigrant, Ximena is inspired by the power and resilience of the generations of immigrants that have come before her. As such, she has dedicated herself to fighting for and serving her community as best she can. At UC Berkeley, she served as Campus Liaison for Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education, an undocumented student organization. She has also acted as the Berkeley representative of the UC Undocumented Students Coalition, a network of undocumented students from every UC campus working towards improved resources for undocumented students and workers at the UC.
After college, Ximena is determined to work for the immigrant communities that have supported her along her journey. Ximena aspires to apply to law school, become an immigration attorney, and return to Los Angeles to work with first-generation, low-income families who lack access to equitable legal representation.
For her DreamSF fellowship, Ximena has been placed at Pangea Legal Services. She believes wholeheartedly in Pangea’s vision of a world where everyone is entitled to the right to move. At Pangea, she assists the organization’s legal team by interpreting, translating, providing research support, and helping with clients.
In her free time, Ximena enjoys listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with friends. More than anything, she loves reading and the ability of literature to transport you to a different world.