Student Staff

Ivan Miranda Ortega  – Communications & Marketing Intern

Major: American Studies
Hometown: South Central, Los Angeles
About: Hello everyone, my name is Ivan and I am currently a senior majoring in American Studies. I was born in Michoacan, Mexico and grew up in el rancho de Jaripitio. After turning 8, my family and I migrated to South Central Los Angeles and have lived there ever since. Growing up both in Mexico & the US brought many amazing and hard memories but I am thankful for my family for making every sacrifice for me to get an education. Being from a poor rancho and a poor inner-city neighborhood allowed me to see two versions of poverty and thus has motivated me to help both of my communities. I am currently eager to be a successful tech entrepreneur with a purpose to bridge tech and urban art for low-income inner-city youth of color. During my free time, I love listening and playing to all kinds of music but my favorite genres are Hip Hop, Oldies and Corridos. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for any questions or if y’all just want to say hi!
Fun Fact: I ran the LA marathon when I was a sophomore in high school.

Marithza Quiroz  – Communications & Marketing Intern

Major: American Studies
Hometown: Sonora, Mexico
About: Marithza is graphic artist, a first-generation college student, and a proud member of the undocumented and LGBTQAI community. Marithza was born in Sonora, Mexico and migrated to the United States at the age of 17 along with her parents. She learned English, earned a U.S. high school diploma and learned graphic design through community adult programs in Los Angeles. She worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years. She also led Immigrants for Inclusion and Change, a peer-support group for undocumented students unable to benefit from state or federal policies such as DACA or in-state tuition, created by Immigrants Rising.

Fun Fact: She loves drawing, storytelling, biking, and exploring the city on public transportation.

Marcela Lacayo – Peer Academic Counselor

Major: Ethnic Studies and Anthropology with a minor in Education

Hometown: Managua, Nicaragua / San Jose, California

About: I was born and raised in Nicaragua until the age of 13 after which I moved to San Jose. Being undocumented and an independent student myself, I’m passionate about supporting students with diverse narratives and experiences in any way I can.

I first found the Undocumented Student Program during Summer Bridge, and their support and acceptance at an institution not made for people like us has been one of the most important experiences I’ve had at Cal. My own PAC and counselor’s passion for what they do and the huge impact they had in my academic and personal life during Summer Bridge and into my first year, made me want to give back to my community in the same way, which led me to become a Peer Academic Counselor. I hope to one day pursue a career in education or counseling, helping diverse students in their journey towards and through college if that’s the path they choose to take.

Fun Fact: My favorite food when I’m sick is Filipino Picadillo!