Born in South Central Los Angeles, Katherine is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico and Honduras. Katherine’s mother, a refugee from El Salvador, and her father, an economic migrant, sacrificed to no end to provide her with an education. Their tireless work ethic inspires Katherine’s commitment to advancing opportunities for others.
Growing up in a community rich in diversity yet marred by violence, Katherine learned to navigate contentious spaces with empathy and diplomacy. At UC Berkeley, Katherine grew fascinated by shared experiences of resilience across cultures. She assisted refugees with asylum cases, mentored at-risk youth, and empowered Latinas to pursue academic excellence.
Following graduation, Katherine served as an Operation HOPE fellow, where she led financial empowerment workshops for victims of domestic violence. At the National Head Start Association, Katherine lobbied for federal funding for early childhood education for low-income families. Recently, she worked as an educational policy researcher for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, representing the nation’s public historically black colleges and universities.
Today, Katherine is a Mitchell Scholar pursuing a master’s of law degree at Ulster University, and a master’s at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. By integrating transitional justice approaches and development strategies, Katherine hopes to one day help revitalize economically depressed pockets of South Central Los Angeles, reduce crime and improve social cohesion to ultimately encourage civic engagement and empowerment.