COMING SOON


ABOUT DINA CERVANTES

Although once labeled an “at-risk youth,” Dina Cervantes a former continuation high school student, found her way and voice in organizing students to fight for affordability, quality, and access to California’s higher education systems. She learned to turn anger into activism and the value of being an active participant in the political process. She found herself and her voice in being part of the solution. Dina now has over 17 years’ experience as an organizer, community activist, and a committed change agent focusing on education, social equity, and environmental issues.

FAMILY ROOTS

Dina is a daughter of Mexican immigrant parents who worked in the fields of Fresno, CA, came to the U.S. in pursuit of the American Dream. Looking to do different work than they had done back home they moved to Los Angeles where they built their home, dreams, and grew the family from one to four children; Dina is the second eldest. Dina’s father started working at a metal machine shop and never left. His loyalty, dedication, and work ethic paid off and eventually, he was able to become a part owner at this very same machine shop. Resilience and work ethic have been long a part of the fabric of Dina’s life because of the example her parents set.

AN EARLY LOVE FOR EDUCATION

Dina’s first job, at 15, was as a preschool teacher’s assistant which is where she fell in love with teaching and the classroom; she spent the next seven years in the classroom eventually working her way up to lead teacher. This experience inspired her to pursue her higher education studies with a focus on children and families. She proudly uses this as base in her work as an advocate to this day.

FINDING HER VOICE IN ADVOCACY AND LEADERSHIP

As a community college student, Dina led organizing efforts in bringing thousands of students to the state capital to fight for higher education. Dina served as the Statewide Representative and Region Chair for the 14 Los Angeles Area Community Colleges to the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC). Locally, as a student at Santa Monica College, she served as the Student Trustee and President of the Inter-Club Council, the body overseeing the campus’ over 75 student organizations. She graduated in 2005 with an Associate of Arts degree in both Liberal Studies and Early Childhood Education. While a student at Cal State Northridge, she continued the fight for access, equity, and affordability. She served as the President and Chair of the California State Student Association (CSSA), the nation’s largest statewide student association. She is most proud of the advocacy efforts that led to a fee freeze in the CSU system. She graduated from CSUN, with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Development and a Bachelors of Science degree in Family Consumer Science-Family Studies.

THE SWITCH WAS TURNED ON!

Building on her student advocacy, Dina’s life work has centered around creating healthy environments and building communities that serve it’s most underserved. Dina worked for CEERT (Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies), an environmental organization which promotes the creation of renewable energy policies and projects in California and on the West Coast. A major focus of these efforts was job creation. Back in education, Dina served as the School & Community Coordinator for LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer, where she focused on organizing and constituent empowerment in the West Los Angeles Area and the Southern West San Fernando Valley. Dina is most proud of her work supporting in the passing of a resolution to ensure that school campuses would be safe zones for families threatened by ICE; immigration enforcement. She was also active supporting the board member in the initial creation of instructional pathways to assist the transition from pre-K to 12th grade. She also later supported the then Board President, with Policy and Communication efforts. Most Recently, Dina served as Chief of Staff for a Long Beach Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce who is well regarded for her work with the community and labor organizations. In the time Dina worked with the Councilwoman she is most proud of having supported efforts around safety for hotel workers, development projects tied to strong labor and community benefit commitments, and efforts to ensuring the city have its employees be “trauma informed” for personal and constituent purposes.

COMMUNITY ACTIVISM

Dina Cervantes has been very active with local democratic efforts and supports organizations that develop youth leadership and young professionals. Dina led both the 2015 Young Democrats of America Convention and the 2014 California Young Democrats Convention in Los Angeles for which she’s received awards and recognition as the Host Convention Chair. She was elected as the 1st Female President of the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats; one of the largest Democratic organizations in the state and has served as an elected Delegate for the 38th Assembly District, for the California Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley. DINA, the daughter of immigrants and once at-risk-youth, has through her decades of leadership and experience, proven a passion and commitment to serve.