With over a decade of experience in the higher education, workforce development, and public health sectors, Marianne is passionate about providing access, advising, and support to youth, particularly first generation students of color. Marianne was born and raised in the San Joaquin Central Valley but has enjoyed living in a number of different cities in CA and out of state too. A proud Aggie, she received her B.A. in Economics and Communications from UC Davis and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Sacramento State.
Marianne joined The Unity Council in September 2020, as the Associate Director of Community Programs - Youth Services. Building off the strength of current programming, some immediate goals are to strengthen staff capacity, curriculum development and data reporting of youth initiatives including 1) Latino Men and Boys (LMB), 2) Latinx Mentoring, and Achievement (LMA), and our 3) Youth Career Services. Under her leadership, the department will integrate services to meet the academic, social, cultural, and economic needs of Oakland youth ages 12-24.
Before joining the Unity Council, Marianne served as the Central Valley Program Coordinator for the CA Adolescent Health Collaborative, a grant initiative of the Public Health Institute, which offered Healthy Relationships Education to youth in Stanislaus and Merced Counties. She also served as staff support to two Cal-SOAP programs, housed under the Sacramento County Office of Education. In this capacity, she hired and onboarded AVID tutors and provided administrative oversight to the distribution of the Capital Area Promise Scholarship. Besides a year with the CA Environmental Protection Agency, and a year with the CA Human Development, the bulk of Marianne’s experience has been in higher education and college access programs such as Upward Bound at San Jose State and a non-profit called Breakthrough Sacramento.
Marianne’s passion for educational equity and social justice stems from her experience growing up “poor” while attending a Catholic elementary school. She then transitioned to a public high school where she was the minority in college-bound classes. Additionally, as one of nine children, her parent’s traditional Mexican values instilled cultural humility and the love and joy of her roots. Growing up, she fondly remembers trips in the family van to San Luis, Rio Colorado, Mexico, singing rancheras along the way with her dad. Marianne has a variety of hobbies and loves attending various community, arts, and educational events that celebrate cultures and enrich our lives.