Vanessa brings a passion for policy and for working with underserved communities, which she has explored on issues that include economic and social justice, immigration, foster care youth, education, and workforce development. Previously, Vanessa worked at New Brunswick Tomorrow as an AmeriCorp Bonner Leader and later as a consultant supporting small businesses to improve local economic development and working with resident leaders to address crime, immigration reform, and related issues. She has also worked at Rutgers Douglass Residential College as an Instructor and as an Academic Programs Coordinator. Her past research includes exploring pathways for undocumented immigrants and other marginalized groups to be included in the formal entrepreneurial market as well as studying the ways higher education and the workforce can create a smoother transition for young professionals, especially those who are low-income and/or first-generation. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Vanessa is a two-time graduate of Rutgers University, with a B.A. in Women's and Gender Studies and a Master of Public Policy. She is excited to learn from her two-year opportunity as a Fellow and Program Associate at the Fund.