Kenzi Hilario is a student at California State University East Bay, majoring in Communication, Media Production option. Kenzi immigrated to the United States from the Philippines when she was 7 years old, and has had an interest in writing from a young age. Kenzi was also very involved in her church, where she was the vice president of their youth group for 5 years. This leadership position, which helped Kenzi practice her public speaking skills, along with her interest in writing, helped her to make the decision to study communication and media production for college.
Throughout her studies, Kenzi developed a passion for being involved in social justice issues that affect minority groups. As an undocumented immigrant, Kenzi was especially drawn to creating media content that highlighted the struggles and realities of the undocumented community. She was concerned about the lack of resources for undocumented immigrants in the East Bay, as well as the generalization of undocumented immigrants being published on media. With the journalistic skills she developed from being a reporter and editor-in-chief for her high school’s newspaper, Kenzi created media content that highlighted the undocumented immigrant experience. Kenzi has two articles published on CSUEB’s newspaper and produced a short documentary titled, Undocumented.
For the DreamSF Fellowship, Kenzi is currently placed with Chinese for Affirmative Action. Kenzi will be assisting in the organization’s immigration program, which focuses on spreading advocacy for immigrant rights and maintaining policies that affect immigrants in San Francisco, especially the Chinese and API community. This work includes networking with other immigrant non-profits throughout the San Francisco, working with media companies for outreach, and developing stronger relationships with other organizations to provide educational workshops and presentations on immigration.