No One Is Illegal: ROSA GONZALEZ

yli is My Story


Calafia Fellow ~ Thermal, California

When Rosa Gonzalez speaks up, she is not just another voice caught in the wind.

Rosa is a high school junior who lives in Thermal, a city close to Coachella. Under many different accomplishments, Rosa thrives in areas others may barely be able to take a breather in. Involved in AP and honors classes, many clubs, and even a job for the after school program at an elementary school, Rosa has always found solace in making a change, but never sitting still. 

Growing up, Rosa’s mother always told her and her siblings if they ever got in a fight, to win it, which instilled activism in every crevice Rosa finds to make a difference. Rosa has always used her voice, even against all authority. In 8th grade, Rosa was placed in an advanced math class, with a teacher who seemed to single her out. The class was often confused by the material, and Rosa believed the teacher seemed unbothered by their pleas for help. In attempts to voice the predicament, Rosa often got in heated arguments with the teacher. On one occasion, the teacher even said to her the class would never get anywhere because of their backgrounds. Even during this comment, Rosa stood her ground, choosing to face danger with fearlessness. Rosa is part of a class at school that helps students prepare for college, but also learn more about their roots. Listening to one presentation, Rosa found the ultimate answer to expressing her voice, at Coachella Unincorporated. She immediately joined and has continued to write personal narratives and poetry, voicing the stories that need to be heard ever since.

Rosa’s Social Justice Tagline:

Rosa believes in the slogan “No human is illegal” because of her roots. Rosa’s parents both immigrated from Mexico. She believes this statement is essential to everyone, especially in America based on the belief that this country was created by immigrants. Especially with the recent events of emotional and physical abuse centered around children who have immigrated across the border and the misrepresentation she knows immigrants receive, Rosa strongly invites everyone to acknowledge a part of America that has been treated harshly for far too long.


Calafia is yli’s statewide youth policy journal, which amplifies the narratives of young people on topics and issue areas important to them and their communities. Each year, a Calafia Fellow is selected from each of yli’s seven office to identify the issue’s theme and write the stories. Along the way, they are mentored by experienced reporters, travel to statewide and national media conferences, and learn the steps to producing a printed publication. 

Stay tuned for this year’s pub!