Julissa Arce is a writer, immigrant rights, education advocate and CNBC Contributor. She is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity or national origin. Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and College Spring. She is the former Director of Public Affairs at Define American, a media organization that uses the power of story to change culture around immigration and citizenship. Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street working at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and had seemingly achieved the American Dream, and yet she was not part of what defined American. Julissa immigrated to America from Mexico at the age of 11 and was undocumented for almost 15 years, including some of her years rising to prominence on Wall Street. In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, Julissa co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014. Julissa's memoir, My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive, was published in September 2016.
Arce is a writer, immigrant rights, education advocate and a CNBC