CARECEN Legal Team

Michelle Polanco smiling

Michelle E. Polanco
Michelle E. Polanco is an attorney for CARECEN's CSU Project, and serves Cal State LA and CSU Dominguez Hills. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and was encouraged to become an immigration attorney because of her Central American parents’ experience as immigrants in the United States.

She graduated from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles where she helped several immigrant clients through her participation in the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. Prior to law school she was a JusticeCorps Fellow and received her B.A. from UCLA in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies. 


Gisela Lara Verdeja smiling

Gisela Lara Verdeja
Gisela has been with CARECEN for more than three years. She started out as a legal assistant and recently became an Office of Legal Access Programs (OLAP) Accredited Representative. 

She is originally from Mexico and arrived in South East LA when she was a child. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2016 with a bachelor's degrees in Anthropology and Legal Studies. Her journey as an immigrant motivates her to continue advocating, fighting for, and working within the immigrant community.