Alejandra Gonzalez is a student at Alverno College majoring in Community Leadership and development, with a minor in Global Studies. As a DACA recipient, she has used her education to advocate for immigrant rights in Milwaukee. She is a member of Voces De la Frontera, a local immigrant rights organization, and founded the Youth Empowered in the Struggle (Y.E.S.) chapter at Alverno. She has met with elected officials to emphasize the importance of comprehensive immigration reform, and she travels throughout Wisconsin to share her personal immigration story. She plans to continue her advocacy for immigrants and refugees by lobbying for health care accessibility and affordability. Ms. Gonzalez is also a professional actress and recognizes the importance of Latinx representations in the arts by focusing on offering diversity to the stories told on stage. She produces and performs in shows that represent Milwaukee's diverse community and organizes events to fund her projects.
I come from a family of healers. My great-grandmother was a midwife and grandmother and mother holistically treat common ailments. Growing up undocumented and without health insurance meant members of my community were treated with these remedies as their only option. I watched my mother open our home to offer comfort and relief to people too afraid to see a doctor for fear of costs or deportation.
Because of my own status, I was never encouraged to be civically engaged. On the c 03ontrary, I was told that the less attention I drew to myself, the better. Growing up undocumented stifled my academic and creative growth. My fear and anxiety prevented me from speaking out when policy was created that suppressed my community.
In 2012, President Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an executive action that granted legal recognition of people like me. With it came the courage to speak more openly on immigration, inspiration to pursue my professional and artistic goals, and voice to advocate for those still living in fear. The skills and knowledge I possess are different from those of my grandmother and mother, but I hope to heal as they do and offer comfort to my community through my voice.