Meet Our Scholars
Josue Velasquez is an undocumented student from Guatemala. In 2016 they became the first college graduate in their family and received dual bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and Chicanx/Latinx studies from University of California, Irvine. In the fall of 2022, they will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston College and they hope to become a clinical social worker. Over the last 6 years, Josue worked as a case manager for Latinx men, Black and Latinx transgender women, and the general population living with HIV in Los Angeles County and San Francisco. Their involvement began at the community college level, where they spent many years working with immigrant rights movements, the visibility of native and indigenous students and my LGBTQ community. Combining activism and drag art as Buganvilia Thorns, Josue served as Miss LA Pride 2017 and the fortyeigtht and fortyninth Empress of Los Angeles and Hollywood with the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood. From 2017 to 2019, Josue fundraised $22,000 to support other nonprofits, an education scholarship, and funded the Buganvilia Thorns Angel of Dreams DACA grant to support the renewal process for LGBTQ DACA recipients in LA County.