UCSF Medical Student and Immigrant Rights Advocate Featured on Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’ List

By Nina Bai

Jirayut Latthivongskorn works in the UCSF library
Jirayut “New” Latthivongskorn (right) was honored by the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for co-founding Pre-Health Dreamers, a national organization that helps undocumented students enter medical professions. Photo by Stephan Babuljak

Jirayut “New” Latthivongskorn, the first undocumented immigrant to attend UC San Francisco’s School of Medicine, has been named to the 2017 “30 Under 30” list by Forbes magazine.

Latthivongskorn, 27, is featured in the education category for co-founding Pre-Health Dreamers, a national organization that provides advising, resources and advocacy for other undocumented students interested in pursuing careers in health care.

Currently a third-year medical student in the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved, Latthivongskorn moved from Thailand to the United States when he was 9 years old.

As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, Latthivongskorn became an advocate for immigrant rights and testified at the California State Capitol in support of the California DREAM Act, a law that would allow undocumented students who came to the U.S. before age 16 to apply for student financial aid. The law passed in 2012, the year Latthivongskorn graduated from college with honors in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

That same year, Latthivongskorn co-founded Pre-Health Dreamers along with Denisse Rojas Marquez, a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, also named to the Forbes list. The organization now has 700 members in 42 states and provides advising, resources and advocacy for undocumented young people. They have advocated for more medical schools to open their doors to undocumented students and co-sponsored legislation to allow California licensing boards to award professional licenses to undocumented professionals.

Latthivongskorn started in the UCSF School of Medicine in 2014.

This year’s Forbes “30 Under 30” list highlighted 200 individuals in 20 categories.