“My commitment to social justice stems from my immigrant working-class family experience. At a young age, I became an advocate and translator for my Spanish-speaking parents. This experience raised my social awareness early – constantly experiencing discrimination and bias. I grew up in a predominantly Latino community where my surroundings were my norm. My parents encouraged education from day one because like many immigrant parents, they believed that education was the tool for success – and so I did. The contrast of moving from my community to the opposite side of town for college, helped me further understand the unequal distribution of resources in disadvantaged communities, led me to volunteer in university youth outreach programs, and influenced me to pursue a career in youth development & education. Education gave me access to opportunities I may never have had. Most importantly, it introduced me to the most amazing mentors, community leaders, and friends – who are a constant reminder to always give back and leave things better for the generations that come after us.”
- Before joining Edgility, Vanessa was responsible for equity-centered, multi-structural, and cross-functional strategies in an urban school district.
- As a leader, Vanessa has spearheaded high-impact k-12 and youth development initiatives, projects, and programs in Los Angeles, New York City, and Tulsa that have been nationally recognized.
- Vanessa is a Doctoral candidate for an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Oklahoma. She holds a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Master in Education from The Broad Center. She completed her undergraduate degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Vanessa is a Los Angeles native of Mexican descent. In her free time, you can find her taking adventures with her pitbull, Mateo. She also loves spending time hiking, practicing yoga, traveling, or getting the rest she needs as an introverted leader. Cooking for others is her love language so when there is time, she enjoys bringing friends and family together to try new recipes and build community.