Catherine, the daughter of Colombian immigrants, was born in San Francisco and has over 15 years of experience working with youth in the Bay Area. Her love of youth development started when she worked for the Employment Development Department’s Youth Employment Opportunity Program as an Employment Specialist when she was 18 years old.
Although she didn’t have a straight path through college, she attended a community college for 4 years and eventually graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Sociology. Stumbling through higher education with little support cemented her desire to help youth with similar backgrounds to navigate higher education and become agents of change in their communities.
She has worked with Juma Ventures and Safety Network Partnership before joining Mission Graduates in August of 2008 as the College Connect Program Lead Counselor. In October of 2010, Catherine was promoted to Director of the College Connect program and later promoted to Sr. Director of College Access and Success in 2016. She feels a great amount of gratitude to work with such a dedicated community that believes higher education should be accessible to everyone.