The Needs and Joys of our (Im)migrant* Students, Families and Community Partners Session 1: What is the what? Nuances, complications, and contributions of (Im)migrant & Latinx student mental health

Original broadcast date: April 19, 2021


This three-part series was followed by a four-part learning community focused on (im)migrant student mental health.


Please note that while this program has a special focus on students who identify as Latino/a/x,  Chican@, and Mexican-American, all are welcome and much can be related to other student identities with shared experiences. 


Session 1: What is the what? Nuances, complications, and contributions of (Im)migrant & Latinx student mental health

Our opening session featured all four faculty providing an introduction to core concepts and issues that impact (Im)migrant and Latinx student mental health. Together, the group discussed the concepts of triple trauma (leaving, migration, arrival); microaggressions + bias and racism; COVID-19 nuances to service delivery; and the strengths and joys of (im)migrant student mental health. 


To create awareness about (im)migrant student experiences, we: 

  1. Learned how stress, anxiety, and trauma impact (im)migrant students.

  2. Defined the policies that impact our families and students (e.g., TPS, McKinney-Vento, DACA, U-Visas, Public Charge, Deportations, and AB2121).

  3. Explored how status affects students, families, and schools. 


Priming Resources


Resources from the Series


View Session 2 and Session 3 of this series.


Our Learning Series and Community of Practice Faculty


Woman with long dark hair wearing a light blue topAngela Castellanos, PPSC, LCSW 

Angela J. Castellanos serves as a School Mental Health Training Specialist for the Pacific Southwest MHTTC. Angela Castellanos, LCSW, is an experienced mental health consultant and administrator with 25+ years of diverse and progressive expertise in the mental health care industry and school settings. As a licensed clinical social worker, she specializes in administering school mental health programs; mentoring industry professionals (local, state, and federal); and developing and teaching best practices in the area of Trauma, Suicide Prevention, Crisis Response and Recovery, and School Mental Health. As a direct practitioner, Angela has developed programs and services for newcomers in a school district setting. Internationally, she has provided trauma based work in El Salvador. 


Woman with shoulder length hair wearing a white shirt in front of a buildingAlicia Arambula, MSW, ASW, PPSC

Alicia Arambula is a Latinx School Social Worker in the south San Diego region. As a School Social Worker, Arambula has developed a mental health program to address youth mental health by providing professional learning opportunities for staff, establishing systems of support utilizing restorative practices and bridging the gap for students to access mental health counseling in or outside of school. Arambula has a Master of Social Work from San Diego State University with a pupil personnel services credential in social work. Arambula has over ten years of experience serving youth and their families in various capacities such as addressing diverse needs including substance dependency, immigration, and education. Arambula is a fronteriza, a hybrid culture that exists within border regions, which directly impacts her theoretical approach in serving her community. 



Woman with shoulder length hair and crossed arms stands wearing a light blue topClaudia Gonzalez, LCSW, PPSC-SW

Claudia Gonzalez is the lead child and adolescent mental health clinician at a Federally Qualified Health Center in South San Diego. She has a Master of Social Work and Pupil Personnel Services Credential from San Diego State University. She has over 10 years of experience working along the U.S.-Mexico border close to her hometown of San Ysidro. Her personal experience and work in the border region have afforded Claudia the opportunity to understand the intersection of the communities social, sexual, and family ties in both countries.




Woman with should length hair and maroon top smilesClaudia Rojas, MA

Claudia Rojas earned her BA in Sociology from UCR, an MA in Education from UCLA, and an Administrative Credential from CSUDH; she has been an educator since 2003 and has always worked at high need schools in Los Angeles. Currently, Claudia serves as a Newcomer Coach and previously she served as a Restorative Justice Teacher Advisor. From 2012-2018, she served as a founding high school principal located in the heart of South Central Los Angeles. The school focused on mental and behavioral health and is a student-centered, teacher-driven school. Claudia is committed to student voice, social justice, equity and access, innovation, and community collaboration. 

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