How Laura Gómez Went From Undocumented Immigrant To Tech Influencer

08/11/2014 03:22 pm ET | Updated Sep 19, 2014

Despite being one or the leading voices in the tech world, Laura Gómez didn't always have such a strong foundation.

Before she was the co-founder of her own tech company, Gómez was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who arrived to the U.S. when she was just 10 years old. As part of "The Next Step," a new series of interviews featuring forward-looking innovators in tech and business, she told HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri how her immigration struggles continue to influence her today.

"A lot of the issues along the border with the Central American immigrant children are things that are very dear to my heart because [citizenship] was something that was so unattainable," Gómez said. "I was able to at least get through college being undocumented. Then receiving my residency was probably the biggest blessing of my life."

Gómez graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a computer science degree and has since worked at some of the top tech companies in the world, including Twitter and Jawbone. She is now the co-founder of Vyv, a startup that hopes to make the government more transparent.

Even with her success in Silicon Valley, Gómez said giving back is still the most important thing to her:

What I'm doing right now is to actually lead the front. Obviously, let's talk about the issues that are not talked about or are discussed in Silicon Valley, which are race and gender. You see the diversity reports coming from Google, Twitter, Facebook, almost all the big companies, as well as entrepreneurship. [What] does the face of entrepreneurship look like? It most likely doesn't look like me. Right? For me it's really giving back and encouraging a lot of people that are ... intimidated [by] the tech industry to enter.

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