Leaders don’t grow on trees…they grow at CRLA!

Oxnard, CA- Pacifica High School graduating senior Melesio Juarez earned over $28,000 in college scholarships from local organizations and a deep admiration from CRLA Oxnard staff who taught him valuable business and leadership skills during his volunteer tenure.

“Melesio started volunteering with our office about a year ago, we observed a great potential and guided him as to what steps to take so he could go to college and apply for scholarships,” said Irma Avila-Espinoza CRLA Oxnard Migrant Administrative Legal Secretary. “When I watched him walk across the graduation stage, I felt very proud that CRLA played a crucial and important role to his success.”

 The Oxnard Union High School District graduate immigrated to the US from Mexico when he was eleven years old. He and his family labored in the fields as migrant farmworkers working long hours for little pay.

“When I was working in the orange groves and strawberry and bell pepper fields, all I could think about was going to school and learning so that I could have a better life,” said Melesio.  “My parents taught me that I have to work hard for anything I wish to have in my life, and their valuable advice keeps me on track academically and socially.”

Melesio is tri-lingual.  He speaks Zapoteco, Spanish, and English fluently and is originally from Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico. Children from migrant families like Melesio’s face many unique higher education access challenges due to seasonal vocational relocations – the effects of which are compounded by language barriers.   These students are disproportionately less likely than their peers to graduate high school or go to college.  Melesio is a true success story.

“Coming from an indigenous background makes Melesio’s story even more impressive and endearing,” said Monica De la Hoya, CRLA Oxnard Directing Attorney. “Coming to the US less than ten years ago meant that he had to learn Spanish and English in addition to navigating the rigors of middle and high school.”

“Volunteering at CRLA, is the best choice I have made so far in my life besides going to school. They supported and mentored me at a crucial time in my schooling. The knowledge I have gained from them has opened many doors and endless opportunities for me.” Said Melesio

In the fall of 2014 Melesio Juarez will attend California State University Northridge where he plans to pursue a degree in economics.


We welcome all types
of volunteers. Thank you for your
interest in social justice!

Learn more


Watch our latest videos showing
our accomplishments
and compelling stories.

Learn more


Your questions and
concerns are important to us.
Let us know how we can help.

Learn more