Learn about our new and veteran employees through this new employee spotlight series! Lynda is our college retention specialist at Kelly High School. Learn more about Lynda!
In this position, I assist the postsecondary team at Kelly High School with college and career development. I also run a program called Escalera, which is part of a national curriculum with UnidosUs. The program follows a cohort model, so I work with students for the two years before their high school graduation. In addition to Escalera, I co-facilitate the Student Voice Committee, a program meant to engage Kelly students in identifying issues in their school community and developing solutions collectively.
How did you hear about BPNC?
I'd known about BPNC for a while, but I don't think I fully paid attention until BPNC's campaign to keep a Noble charter school from opening on 47th and California. I was amazed at all the actions being taken by BPNC. I closely followed the campaign and wrote some blogposts about it on my personal blog. I am convinced BPNC would have been successful in keeping Noble out had it not been for the fact that it is a majority Latinx neighborhood; CPS found it easier to dismiss its concerns. There is no doubt that BPNC helped lead one of the strongest opposition this city has seen against charter expansion.
Fun fact: I am a writer. You may occasionally see my freelance work on different Chicago websites, such as Streetsblog Chicago and Chicago Cityscape. I mostly freelance on issues of community development, affordable housing, and transit-oriented development.
Favorite sports team: Green Bay Packers!! #GoPackGo #SorryNotSorry
Favorite Chicago activity: I love bike-riding around Chicago. There is no better way to navigate this city. I love the feeling of using my own energy to propel myself forward and doing in a way that allows me to navigate and understand streets and neighborhoods in a more intimate manner.
Life-changing book: Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown is probably the most impactful book I’ve read in a while. The book talks about the ways to approach social change, but does it in a way that challenges you to rethink our feeling of urgency in our work. What can our work look like when we don’t see everything as urgent and critical? What can our work look like if we slow down and invest in building the strong relationships in our communities? How can that contribute to stronger movements? I came away from that book thinking more critically about the way I view movement work.
Favorite music genre: I love the genre that encompasses Mariachi music. All the Mariachi all the time. Very few genres convey the level of emotional expression that Mariachi does. My mom is also from Jalisco, so there is a familial aspect to it too.
Favorite city: I love Detroit. There is an energy to that city, a resilient energy that captivates you. If you haven’t gone to the Allied Media Conference that takes place there every year, do it next year.
What is something you want your coworkers or clients to know?
I am really into horoscopes. #VirgoVibes