image of women in front of bridge smiling with long hair wearing a scarf and red jacketBeing a first-gen, bilingual, queer woman of color, Vanessa feels that her life of advocating for equality began at a young age. Before Hand in Hand, she worked 4 years at Sacramento Job Corps and 2 years with YO! Disabled and Proud, a program of the CA Foundation for Independent Living Centers, to support at-promise youth and youth with disabilities in finding their inner strength and leadership to take control of their lives. She’s a founding member of the National Association of Multicultural Disabled Advocates (NAMD), an organization aimed at uplifting the power of BIPOC and dismantling white supremacy within the broader disability community. She’s a long-time advocate for mental health, immigration and women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ equality, BLM, and other human rights issues. Sus raíces vienen de Ocotlán, Jalisco, México. En su tiempo libre, le gusta jugar fútbol, bailar, y pasársela con su familia y amigos (hola amá!).