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Julissa Arce      

Political Commentator & Author

Julissa Arce is a political commentator, speaker, writer. She is a leading voice in the fight for social justice, immigrant rights, and education equality. Arce is a contributor to CNBC and the Huffington Post and her writing has been featured in CNN, The Hill, Refinery29, CNN en Español, and Fusion among other national outlets.

She is the chairman and co-founder of the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF). AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national origin or immigration status.

She made national and international headlines when she revealed that she had achieved the American Dream of wealth and status as a financial analyst while undocumented.

In 2005, against all odds, she landed one of the most coveted jobs as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Over the course of the next six years, even while the financial markets crashed, she continued to climb the corporate ladder—riding a series of promotions to become a Vice President, complete with a high six-figure salary and all of the perks that come with living the Goldman Sachs life. What none of her colleagues knew was that she wasn't just a young woman who broke through ceilings in a cutthroat male-dominated field: she was also an undocumented American from Mexico.

Her book MY (UNDERGROUND) AMERICAN DREAM, released in 2016, challenges our perceptions of what it means to be an undocumented immigrant. During the current political climate where immigrants seeking refuge are at America’s doorstep and on our minds, Arce’s personal story of sacrifice, pain, and suffering seeks to add a new perspective that will echo the stories of millions living here without a voice.

Arce now uses her success and platform to help shift the conversation around immigration and other social justice issues.

She serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center and CollegeSpring. Arce was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014.

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