I am a valley girl. A proud one at that. No, I don’t say “like” a lot, at least not more than most people and I’m not the blonde blue-eyed girl you might be thinking of. I am a brown-eyed brunette that was born in Mexico and raised in Sun Valley, which is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. What’s more valley girl than that?

I was raised in a pre-dominantly Latino and working-class community that taught me the beauty and power that lies in being resourceful, empathetic, and communal.

My ties to the valley have shaped my whole career trajectory from the courses I selected at UC Berkeley to the first job I had as a recent graduate. You guessed it, that job was in the valley. I was a community organizer for an environmental justice non-profit that increased my awareness of the systemic inequalities that plague my community from food deserts to disproportionate exposure to air pollution. In my role, I galvanized community members to share their stories and advocate for better resources at the local and national level. Their powerful testimonials planted the seed for the communications work I am invested in pursuing.