Getting to Know Our Fellows: Rubyd Olvera

Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective

Fellow: Rubyd Olvera

Rubyd Olvera is the Community Engagement and Outreach Fellow with the IE Immigrant Youth Collective. Rubyd is a recent UC, Riverside graduate with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Policy. She considers the Coachella Valley as her home and was raised there since her and her family immigrated to the United States. She is passionate about helping lead undocumented youth in their pathway to higher education, civic engagement, and advocacy for immigrant communities. She enjoys reading memoirs about various strong woman, including Sonia Sotomayor and Dolores Huerta who have lead justice efforts. She also enjoys learning how she can improve her leadership skills as well as running.

What are you looking forward to working on as a UCR CSI IE Nonprofit Fellow?

As a UCR CSI IE Nonprofit fellow I am looking forward to working directly with my community and being able to facilitate the process of providing resources including, DACA renewal information, know your rights workshops, and higher education information. As an undocumented student I understand what the impact these resources have on me. Having the privilege of sharing these opportunities and resources with youth and their parents is very empowering for many of them. Community empowerment; Empowers me, especially the undocumented youth who are our leaders of tomorrow. I am also excited about learning about the nonprofit sector and taking on new projects that have the potential to have a direct impact on my community. Specifically, I look forward to developing programming for youth as many times they often get told the wrong information or are discouraged from attending higher education altogether, just as I was by my counselor. Just as important is the opportunity to learn how to engage and organize my community.

What drew you to the UCR CSI IE Nonprofit Fellowship?

Better question yet, “What didn’t draw me into the UCE CSI IE Nonprofit Fellowship”? Everything about the IE Nonprofit Fellowship drew me in. Three objectives that brought my attention the most included the fact that fellows would be placed in non-profit organizations. Nonprofit organizations helped me by providing me resources despite my legal status. They shared resources about going to college and since then I knew that I wanted to be able to provide the same resources in some capacity in the future. My involvement with my community has always been rooted in those who helped fight for my currents rights as an undocumented youth and I hope to fight for other youth to have the same opportunities and more. Especially considering the current political administration. The second point that drew me in was its placement in our region. With scarce resources for one of the largest homes to many undocumented community members I understood the importance of these organizations. The last objective that drew me into the fellowship was the opportunity to participate as an undocumented youth and be at forefront of these projects. Given the current political climate I felt it was important that fight for my rights and not be placed back into the shadows.

What are you looking forward to learning about the nonprofit sector in the IE? What do you think are the most pressing needs in the region for nonprofit organizations?

I am looking forward to learning more about the challenges and opportunities that exist within the non-profit sector in the Inland Empire. Especially now that we see our challenges as opportunities to grow and connect with other organizations who are facing similar struggles. I am excited to be able to dive into the nonprofit world and absorb as much as I can so that I can be a better resource to my community. I believe that some of the most pressing needs in the region for nonprofit organizations is funding and receiving tangible local support by some of our elected officials who have the power to bridge our community needs. With so much rhetoric going on every day of our lives especially for those in marginalized communities who are affected directly it is very difficult to ensure that we are meeting all our community needs. Lastly, I believe we must ensure that we uplift the voices of those being directly affected by the current political climate.

What is a little-known gem about the Inland Empire that you could share with others? What would you share about the Inland Empire with those not familiar or know little about the region?

A small gem about the Inland Empire I would share with others is the beautiful view you can get at 1,332 ft. elevation with curious creatures that will often accompany you. There is no other place like Mt. Rubidoux! If I could share something to someone who isn’t familiar with Inland Empire is that it is important to get involved in our local community efforts and learn more about the large immigrant population that helps our region thrive.

Where do you envision yourself in 5 years? What are your future career plans after this Fellowship?

In 5 years I envision myself nearly completing law school or graduate school and pursuing a career in either immigration, policy, education, or social services. I want to be able to understand the issues my community faces and learn what we can do to help improve them. My future plans after this fellowship includes continuing to work with an organization that help provide resources to marginalized communities and developing the skills that will help me get there. Most importantly my future career plans involve giving back to the community that helped me fight for my rights.

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