Jessica Pedroza (she/her) was born in Phoenix, AZ, and raised by Mexican immigrant parents whose sacrifices provided her access to an education never afforded to them. She is driven to fight for equity in the K-12 educational system, after experiencing firsthand the obstacles faced by students of color and with low income backgrounds in public and private institutions, both as a student and as a teacher.
Jessica Pedroza is a first-generation college graduate in Political Science (B.A.) from the University of Notre Dame. In 2017, Jess joined the Teach for America Corps Chicago and taught 5th grade Science and Social Studies at Horizon Science Academy – Southwest Chicago, concurrently pursuing her Masters in Teaching from Relay’s Graduate School of Education. She advocates for equitable K-12 educational policy, working to combat systemic inequities so that schools across the nation are fully funded, rich in opportunity, and benefit from culturally competent, diverse, and qualified teachers. As the 2020-2021 Congressional Hispanic Institute Education Graduate Fellow, she completed her first placement at UnidosUS, the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization. During her second placement with Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez of New Mexico, Jessica served as the primary liaison for a varied issue portfolio and facilitated weekly meetings with advocates and constituents to track legislation and community needs.
She is now a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Ruben Gallego, who represents her hometown district, handling a portfolio that includes education, labor, judiciary, civil rights and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Jess also recently served as an Advisory Council Member for the Institute for Latino Studies for three years.