I have deep roots within the Burien community. I am a fourth-generation Washingtonian and King County resident (my great-grandfather and grandfather are buried in Forest Lawn). My grandfather was an IAM 751 machinist and my father was a SPEEA member for thirty-five years, both at Boeing. Growing up, I was always conscious and appreciative of the hard work that it took my parents to live a good and stable life. Thanks to unions, my family was protected from insecurity. I attended elementary school at St. Francis of Assisi here in Burien, where I still attend church with my family. At the age of thirteen, I started as a stage-hand for the Highline Performing Arts Center, worked at local restaurants (909 and Mick Kelley’s) as a busser throughout my time at Aviation High School in the Highline School District. There I was ASB Vice President, Yearbook Editor-in-Chief, and was awarded the Hubble Award. I believe in the importance of the arts in Burien, having acted in numerous Burien Actors Theatre and Hi-Liners’ Productions, as well as having served on the youth committee of the Seattle International Film Festival and the inaugural Rising Star Project development team at the 5th Avenue Theatre.
My educational journey began at South Seattle Community College where I managed to juggle school full-time while also working full-time as a courtesy clerk at PCC and a member of the UFCW 21 union. From there, I spent time volunteering with elephants in Thailand, as an English teacher in Far-Western Nepal, and in a boatyard in Maryland. Finally, I graduated from Washington State University, Summa Cum Laude and a Top Ten Senior for Public Service and Top Ten Thesis Writer. In May of 2019, I completed and received a dual master’s degree from Columbia University in New York and the London School of Economics in international and economic history. I wrote my dissertation on public-private partnership history between Democratic and Republican presidential administrations during the time of the U.S. government’s desire to construct a canal through Nicaragua.
I believe in the importance of non-governmental organizations, non-profits, and faith communities. I currently work at the Pastoral Assistant for Youth Ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish where I develop youth programming and opportunities in the Parish to work to have our youth live a more faith-based life, and realize the importance of justice in our society through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.
In 2015, I served as a session intern for Governor Inslee’s office, working on a range of tasks relating to boards, commissions, legislative and external affairs, constituent services, and other miscellaneous issues.
While at Washington State University, I represented the College of Arts & Sciences on the ASWSU Senate. I was awarded Legislator of the Year by my peers. During that time, I solidified over $200,000 for highway improvements to prevent student deaths during holiday season, wrote legislation to promote expanded student power and choice, and worked to protect our undocumented students living and learning in Pullman.
I served as senior policy intern at the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. I worked as a Recruitment & Retention Specialist for the College of Arts & Sciences. I served on the board of Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, a county sexual assault prevention and awareness non-profit. During the past two years, I was President of the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, a statewide non-profit focused on youth leadership development.