Undocumented student mentored others

Daniela Murguia was born in Mexico and came to the United States in 2008 at the age of 12. That was too late to qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

Growing up as a participant in one of the most intractable issues in American politics, Murguia didn’t disclose her undocumented status until she arrived at the University of Washington Bothell. She now describes herself as unafraid and unapologetic, “seeking true liberation of all undocumented and minoritized communities.”

A June graduate, Murguia was recognized as one of the Husky 100 — students who make the most of their UW experience.

Drawing from others

At UW Bothell, Murguia said she was inspired by Alejandra Perez, who led the Latinx Student Union and proudly used the phrase “undocumented, unafraid and unapologetic.” Perez was recognized as a member of the inaugural Husky 100 and awarded the Chancellor Medal when she graduated in 2016. Perez remained at UW Bothell to receive a Master in Education in 2019.

“Without her I wouldn’t have had the amount of growth, success and ongoing support that I have today,” said Murguia who said the Latinx Student Union shaped her experience.

“I came across people who facilitated my growth process as a critical thinker and student organizer, and I can’t feel more thankful for that,” said Murguia, adding, “I also believe I was able to offer the same in return.”

Murguia mentored undocumented middle school and high school students through programs such as La Cima Latino Leadership Camp, La Chispa Conference and Latino Educational Training Institute.

Giving back to others

Murguia worked as a youth leadership program coordinator at the Latino Community Fund and as an Alianza Youth Leadership Program coordinator. As an education equity lead at the Washington Dream Coalition, she ran undocumented ally workshops to train educators in how to best support undocumented students and their families within higher education.

Murguia also led workshops for faculty within the UW Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences where she had a double major in American & Ethnic Studies and in Society, Ethics & Human Behavior. She also had a double minor in Diversity Studies and in Education & Society.

“I followed the message my heart and mind were guiding me to,” she said.

Murguia next plans to “dive deeper into my purpose outside of academic spaces,” and aspires to receive a master’s degree.

To other students like herself, Murguia advises, “Make sure to be present and witness yourself. Your dreams and aspirations are all dreaming of you too.”

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