Meet our DREAM Team

The DREAM Program was established July 1, 2015 to meet the needs of undocumented student population at Mt. SAC. It was created to provide services for Undocumented Students and ensure their success, personal growth and development throughout their educational journey. Our DREAM team is comprised of committed and compassionate professionals who have navigated the educational path that our students go through. We are here  you achieve your goals at Mt. SAC and beyond. We encourage you to come by and meet our team in person or remotely.

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Dario Fernandez Program Director

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Laura Muniz Counselor/Professor

    • About Laura
      My name is Laura Muñiz, and I am a first-generation Latina college student. Having emigrated from Mexico at the age of five years of age, I understand first-hand what it is like to be a Dreamer. I started in community college just like you. I transferred to Cal State Fullerton and earned a BS in Human Services. I later earned my MS in Counseling from the University of La Verne. I have worked at Mt. SAC for over 25 years. I am excited to introduce you to the basics of being a college student. I know how overwhelming starting college can be and I am here to help you have a smooth transition. My goal is to offer you one of the most valuable learning experiences and develop a safe and caring learning community where you can fully participate and be academically successful.  I am excited to get to know you in the next couple of weeks and begin this wonderful college journey together! 
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Carmen Macias Adjunct Counselor

    • About Carmen
      I was born in Ocotlan, Jalisco Mexico and migrated to the United States at the age of 3. I was raised in East Los Angeles California and attended East Los Angeles College. I earned and Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies from ELAC and transferred to the University of California Santa Cruz where I earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology. Then I earned a Master of Education in Counseling from the University of Southern California. I am currently working on my Doctorate of Philosophy in Education at Claremont Graduate University.  I am a first-generation DACAmented student and professional. I am passionate about promoting higher education to immigrant communities because I know that we have the ability to accomplish our dreams despite our immigration status. During my free time I explore southern California by hiking different trails. I also love dancing and reading, both help me stay grounded in my work. 
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Maria Rodriguez Adjunct Counselor

    • About Maria
      My name is Maria Rodriguez. I was born in Mexico and raised in the central valley — Reedley. I received my Master's degree in Educational Counseling from USC and hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intensive Psychology and Minor in Education from UC Santa Cruz. As an undocumented, first-generation student, I faced a myriad of obstacles, such as, poverty, deportation, and inadequate and unequal educational opportunities. Despite these obstacles, I excelled and never lost sight of where I was going and although I feared education, I knew I wanted it more than I feared it. My counseling and teaching philosophy is student centered, holistic based approach. I hope to motivate you to think about your success at Mt SAC and beyond. I warmly invite you to make an appointment with me to learn about each other and how I can further support you with your personal and academic goals.  
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Giovani Bautista  Educational Advisor

    • About Giovani
       I was born in Morelia Michoacan, Mexico. In Mexico, I learned the importance of education since I was not able to get one as a result of poverty and the need to work to support my family. I crossed the border with my mother in 2005 and began to attend school in 6th grade. Learning the language was easy, but the hard part was adjusting to the culture of this country, especially as an undocumented individual. I began navigating the education system prior to the CA DREAM Act and DACA, so going to college and graduating from college was never in my dreams or goals. However, thanks to my community, counselors and educators I was able to attend Community College, graduate and transfer to UC Berkeley. At UC Berkeley, I graduated with a Bachelor's in Mass Communications/Media Studies. Currently, I am in my third and last year of my Master’s Program in Counseling. I hope to become a transformative Community College Counselor in the near future. 
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Maria Ruiz Tejeda Program Specialist

    • About Maria
      My name is Maria Ruiz Tejeda and I was born in Acapulco, Mexico. I attended Mt. SAC and transferred to the University of Southern California (USC), where I received my Bachelor's in Sociology and a Minor in Gender and Social Justice.

Paola Gutierrez Financial Aid Specialist

    • About Paola
      I was born in Michoacan, Mexico and came to the US at the age of 6. My higher education and professional journey began at UC Santa Cruz where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. I went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CSU Long Beach. Fast forward to 2023 and I now have over 10 years of financial aid experience, supporting students in various roles from Peer Advisor to Cal Grant Coordinator. Currently, I’m excited to be a Financial Aid Specialist at Mt. San Antonio College. As a first-generation student, I understand the impacts of financial aid and how the complex process can deter students from applying. The application itself can be quite intimidating for some, therefore, my goal is to remove the barriers students and families face in order to make higher education a reality. I’m more than happy to support students with the financial aid process, stop by and let me know how I can support you!