Director of Community Engagement
Jessica is the Director of Community Engagement at Advance Illinois. As a proud first-generation Chicana with roots stemming from the Southwest side of Chicago, she is committed to elevating the experiences and voices of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other communities historically marginalized by the policy making process.
With professional experience spanning from Colorado to Illinois, Jessica sees the urgency to organize to disrupt the inequities that continue to impact our communities. Her work at Advance Illinois involves developing and executing advocacy strategy, engaging diverse stakeholders, and elevating educator perspective around key education issues from birth through career. She supports the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Additionally, Jessica led the restructuring of the Educator Advisory Council, a council of diverse, outstanding educators from across the state.
Prior to joining Advance Illinois, Jessica taught 6th and 8th grade language arts, as well as 9th grade multicultural studies. She studied broadcast journalism with concentrations in Latina/o studies and political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.