Originally born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Elizabeth, a first-generation college graduate, went to Gertz-Ressler High School near the Pico-Union area of the city. At 18, she took the biggest leap of faith that would change her life and moved to the midwest to attend the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in St. Joseph, Minnesota.
St. Joseph became her new home for the next 4 years. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies and Communications, and also studied abroad in Guatemala where she was able to connect to her roots through food and poetry.
After graduating from college, Elizabeth served in College Possible AmeriCorps as a college coach, where she mentored and coached numerous first-generation and low-income college students. She then became a high school college counselor for the next 4 years at a private Jesuit high school in Twin Cities, Minnesota. She fulfilled a goal of 100% college acceptance rate for all students and collaborated with Georgetown University to create a retention and persistence program.
After living in Minnesota for 10 years, she returned to replant her California roots. She is thankful and grateful for the countless mentors she had along her journey. She looks to pay it forward to under-resourced and historically excluded communities to ensure they have access to information, resources, and higher education.