Gerardo Gomez was born in Arcelia, Guerrero, Mexico to two teenage parents. In their rural village, the pervasive drug violence in the community proved to be too much, so in the late 90s, Gerardo’s family packed up their lives and immigrated to the U.S., permanently settling down in Palmdale, a small desert town in southern California.
Being an undocumented immigrant shapes a person’s identity in ways that others don’t often realize. One such way is education. Gerardo exceled in academia from the moment he began schooling in the United States because, as his parents explained, grades and exam scores were one of the few things no one else could take away from him due to his immigration status. Naturally, over time government and politics became an interest of passion and necessity for him. After graduating valedictorian from Palmdale High School, Gerardo accepted an offer from San Francisco State University, where he is working on his bachelor’s degree in political science. Living, working and studying in a city as vibrant and diverse as San Francisco has given Gerardo an understanding and clarity in wanting to further his education to work in the field of immigrant rights. He hopes that one day he will be able to improve the lives of others in similar situations. But Gerardo’s life isn’t all about his career goals. In his teen years, Gerardo developed a love of tennis and running; his early twenties have been a time to more clearly understand and shape his queer identity.
As a DreamSF Fellow placed at Pangea Legal Services, Gerardo gets to work directly with attorneys who passionately defend the immigrant community. He takes part in court hearing, intakes, and helps in translation and interpretation work, all while developing his professional skills, growing his networking contacts and being given a realistic expectation on the hardships of working in the field. After graduation, Gerardo hopes to pursue a degree in immigration law. Wherever life takes him, Gerardo is being given a professional foundation from the SF Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs to be able to succeed in his professional aspirations.