Hailing from Hawai'i and East LA, I am a first-generation high school and college graduate emphasizing the importance of individualized advising and mentorship for all students—particularly first-generation Students of Color. I was a high school administrator and educator for over twelve years, working in alternative education as an English, ELD, and Leadership teacher, as well as a site & grant coordinator for an elementary-based after school program in San Francisco. During my doctoral studies, I held the role of program director for Pathways2Teaching which allowed me to explore what it truly means to teach for social justice and equity. This work led to my invitation of membership to the national Grow Your Own Collective, which I now co-lead. In this role, I have worked and presented with various GYO programs and leaders from around the country to create a sustainable model for recruiting & retaining diverse, community-grounded Teachers of Color. I am also entering my third year as a board member of the international Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc., an organization that supports individuals and groups whose work challenges oppressive systems by promoting critical thinking and social justice through liberatory theatre and popular education in marginalized communities.