The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Class of 2020 First-Year Fellow: Jesus Franco '20

As a Class of 2020 First-Year Fellow, Jesus Franco ’20 interns at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants under the mentorship of Jeff Kelley ’69.

Class of 2020 First-Year Fellow, Jesus Franco ’20 poses at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants during his summer fellowship. 

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Jesus Franco ’20 grew up in southeast Los Angeles in South Gate, California and graduated from South Gate High School as an AP Scholar with Honors. At South Gate High, Jesus was Senior Class President, Vice President of the Policy Debate Team, and President of Key Club, a community service based organization.

At Dartmouth, Jesus is interested in studying Government and Economics with a minor in Latin American, Latino/a, and Caribbean Studies. He is on the board of the Coalition for Immigration Rights, Equality, and Dreamers as Director of Finances and is also a member of the Club Swim.

As a First-Year Fellow, Jesus interned at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants under the mentorship of Jeff Kelley ’69. During his internship, Jesus spent most of his time working on a summer-long project to update a 2013 “Profile on the Modern Salvadoran Migrant”. Additionally, he was able to interview asylum applicants and create country condition reports.

According to Jesus, “My favorite and most rewarding part of the fellowship experience was being able to conduct interviews for asylum applicants and write down their declarations. It was a little challenging because the applicants spoke Spanish, but the experience allowed me to relearn and better my use of the language. Hearing the stories of people who had undergone excruciating conditions not only in their countries of origin, but on their journey to the US as well, was incredibly humbling and inspiring. Through this experience, I was also able to learn more about the different aspects of the asylum application process. It also gave me a snapshot of what it is like to be an immigration lawyer, which is a career that I am really interested in.”

Jesus aspires to attend law school after graduation and devote his time to working for immigration rights.

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