Julissa Arce is a writer, CNBC contributor, and advocate for immigrant rights and education. She is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students, regardless of their status, ethnicity, or national origin. Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and College Spring. She is the former Director of Public Affairs at Define American, a media organization that uses the power of story to change the narrative surrounding immigration and citizenship. Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street working for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, and had seemingly achieved the American Dream—yet she still did not feel like a true American.