Jessica Giraldo was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey to Colombian parents and was raised in Miami, Florida. She attended Braddock Sr. High c/o 2001 (go Bulldogs!) and just recently obtained her A.A. in Pre-Law/Paralegal Studies at Miami Dade College. She plans on obtaining her bachelor's degree (considering ethnic studies, sociology and communications) and subsequently applying as a corps member for Teach for America. She is also considering a Masters in Education. Her goal is to work for a progressive nonpartisan political group, a major non-profit organization or an institution of higher education. In addition, she hopes to continue to advocate for issues facing the Latino community, especially education.
Jessica recently completed working on a project through the LLI Miami Cohort, called 305 Rise, whose purpose was to build the leadership capacity of 20 first generation college freshmen through peer-to-peer mentoring and leadership development training during a 2 day retreat. The workshops engaged the students in public narrative, negotiation, building relationships, team building, goal setting transferring to a 4-year university.
She is also the newsletter chair for her local paralegal association and volunteers with the Everybody Wins! South Florida reading program for elementary kids. She aspires to a career in empowering young people, and is interested in education and social justice. She enjoys writing, reading, spending time with family, and learning new things, whether a recipe or new technology. She hopes to inspire more Latinos to pursue higher education and assist them with this journey.