Monica, a first-generation Mexican-American, grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California, where her rural upbringing instilled a strong commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) from a young age. At just 15 years old, Monica co-led and translated a computer learning course for Spanish-speaking farm laborers in her community and organized community gatherings for children of farm laborers. Later, as an EOP & Ronald E. McNair Scholar, Monica pursued English Language and Literature with an emphasis on research and Lacanian, psychoanalytic theory at Fresno State University. Her work has been presented at various conferences, including PAMLA, and recognized by her alma mater in 2012.
After graduate school, Monica’s career spanned multiple industries, including large-scale agriculture, technology, environmental justice, and community development. Her trajectory was driven by her commitment to research and facilitating upward mobility. Monica collaborated with various institutions, including Stanford, Cornell, and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Initiative, on a slew of Latinx-centric research and data collection projects. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she designed a hub and spoke referral system that capitalized millions of dollars in otherwise inaccessible communities of color. Monica’s comprehensive and multi-layered understanding of how DEI manifests itself across industries has led to a network of collaborative partners and thought leaders globally. Through her approach, utilizing research, theory, and data, Monica’s portfolio and track record proves that harnessing DEI strategies can create a mutually beneficial, equitable, and diverse work and market environment for all.