Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
School: University of Nebraska Omaha
Major: Elementary Education
Placement: The Office of Rep. Cindy Axne
Vanessa was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska by her mother and father who immigrated to the United States from México just a few years before she was born. As a first-generation college student, Vanessa has always valued education. Today she attends the University of Nebraska in Omaha, where she is majoring in Elementary Education with an endorsement in English as a Second Language and minoring in Leadership and Public Policy, with the end goal of getting involved in education policy in the future. Since being in college, Vanessa has served in leadership roles within student government, co-founded a student organization dedicated to supporting first-generation college students, and led advocacy initiatives in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.
With one semester left of her undergraduate career, Vanessa hopes to teach in Nebraska for a few years, gain experience in education, and go on to complete a Master’s in Education Policy in Washington, D.C. She hopes time in graduate school and in D.C. will help her define what areas in education policy she is most passionate about, but her ultimate career goal is to work in the U.S. Department of Education and in education policy making at the state level.
As a CHCI Intern, Vanessa hopes to strengthen her legislative research and writing skills, as well as expose herself to policy issues she is not as familiar with. She also hopes to use her experience to seek empowerment among other eager and dedicated young Hispanic leaders.