Emily Zamora


Emily Zamora

Seeing Beyond the Immediate

Becoming an immigration lawyer is what motivated Emily Zamora, born into an immigrant household with relatives who migrated to the United States, to become the first in her family to attend college. 

To succeed, she had to overcome obstacles ranging from her parents’ demanding work schedules — which left her caring for her younger brother — to not having a support system of family members who had navigated through higher education and understood how to prepare for the rigors of college classes. Still, she headed to SMC, where she joined the academically challenging Scholars Program. 

“A friend, an international student at SMC, told me about the program and said it was research-based,” Emily said. “I was scared about the gap I might be facing on research, but I wanted something to challenge me, build me up, so I was better prepared to do well at a university.”

Emily was among the group who helped launch an SMC chapter of Amnesty International's Amnesty Human Rights Club, where she holds the officer position of Treasurer.

Currently working at a civil and human rights organization, Emily is responsible for researching social and political issues occurring in South Los Angeles and throughout the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. She also holds monthly workshops for LAUSD students, helping them learn about issues that affect them and craft public comments to present at LAUSD board meetings to ensure funding and other resources are going to schools with low-income students.

Emily graduates from SMC with two degrees: an Associate Degree for Transfer in Political Science, and an Associate degree in Liberal Arts – Humanities. She will transfer to UCLA as a Political Science major, then continue on to earn a law degree.

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