Jessica is a long-time advocate, collaborator and strategist, with a deep commitment to dismantling the systemic oppression of children in the child welfare and education systems. Jessica joined the Foundation in August 2021 as a program officer and leads the foundation’s strategic initiatives and grantmaking in the rest of state region of New York. She has dedicated her career to leading budget and legislative advocacy campaigns, program implementation, and building coalitions focused on reforming systems. Most recently, Jessica served as the deputy director of Compassionate Education Systems California at the National Center for Youth Law, where she led initiatives aimed at creating equitable education opportunities for students experiencing homelessness, foster care or the juvenile justice system. While at NCYL, she co-led the Foster Youth PreCollege Collective and the successful advocacy of $30 million in state funds for targeted learning loss interventions and reengagement of youth in foster care. Previously, Jessica served as the founding director of the Fostering Youth Success Alliance (FYSA) here in NY, a statewide coalition she led to focus on reforming budget, policy and legislation that impacts the child welfare system. Under Jessica’s leadership, FYSA established a new statute and program, the Foster Youth College Success Initiative, and secured $21 million in state funds to support foster youth attending college in New York. Her previous leadership and engagement includes serving on numerous city or statewide task forces, child welfare advisory committees, and she served as a board member of New Yorkers for Children. Jessica is a proud New Yorker, and holds a Master of Science, in Urban Affairs from Hunter College where her focus was Public Policy and Nonprofit Management.