I was born to an unhoused family, in Los Angeles. My parents dreamed of a large family, but struggled with severe mental health issues. When I was four, my younger sister and I were taken by social services, and we went through the System. We and three siblings whose parents from El Salvador had been deported were adopted together when I was 9, and moved to the east coast a few years later. Through grants and loans, I attended SUNY Buffalo, where I majored in Environmental Studies Policy with an Earth Science Geography Minor.
In college, I interned with Senator Antoine Thompson, and then with the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning. The effects of the Recession took place, the majority of that Department was laid off, and during extensive applications and travel, found a similar situation had occurred in Cities and Counties on both coasts.
During this time, I visited a friend who had moved to Colorado. We went camping in RMNP, and I realized these mountains were home. I moved here February 2013, and have been proud to build my life here on the front range. Each summer I pack the back of my car with camping gear, and take off any time there's an open weekend. I turned to the field of tech, that has bolstered Colorado's economy over the last decade. This industry never ceases to provide learning opportunities and challenge my personal growth.
Two of my sisters have since made Colorado their home as well, and now I have the benefit of family nearby to share experiences and holidays with. I get to spend my time with my two adorable nieces, who inspire me to be the best example possible for them, and to have fun with our day to day routines.
Having often juggled three jobs at a time throughout to afford food, rent, and basic utilities, I understand many of the struggles of our working class. I understand what utilizing our RTD system and bike lanes for daily use looks like, as I relied solely on these before being able to purchase a car at 27. My life and background has provided me the lived experience to know effective solutions come from the community, and that local policy decisions directly affect individuals and families.