Candy Marshall joined the TheDream.US after serving 8 years as a leader at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As chief human resources officer, Candy led the expansion of the foundation and then joined the Global Health Programs where she led the implementation of a comprehensive plan to implement and improve the effectiveness of the Foundation’s 25+ global programs with over 500 people and a $3.0B annual budget. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Candy was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of WRQ, Inc. – a northwest technology firm.
Candy is a philanthropic leader in the Pacific Northwest. She is immediate Past-Chair of the Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation Board of Trustees and serves as an advisor on the Advisory Committee for the YUSA Strategic Initiatives Fund. She has previously served on a number of other non-profit boards including the Washington Global Health Alliance, the Seattle Arts and Sciences Academy, the YMCA of Greater Seattle, and Seattle City Club.
Candy earned a law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law, with distinction, Order of the Coif, and a bachelor’s degree in public administration.
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Maria Gabriela (“Gaby”) Pacheco is a nationally recognized immigrant rights leader. In 2010, with three other undocumented students, they led the Trail of Dreams, a four-month walk from Miami to Washington, DC to call attention to the plight of immigrant families under the threat of deportation. In 2012, as political director for United We Dream, she spearheaded the efforts that led to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
At the age of eight, Pacheco immigrated to the United States with her family from Guayaquil, Ecuador. On April 22, 2013, Pacheco became the first undocumented Latina to testify in front of Congress, speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the urgent need for immigration reform.
Gaby holds an Associate of Arts degree in Music Education, an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, and a BA in Special Education K-12 from Miami Dade College.
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Tania Wilcox has devoted her entire professional life to help students overcome educational inequalities and barriers. As an immigrant herself and having been the first in her family to graduate from college, she has an unwavering passion to help similar students succeed in their education. Before joining TheDream.US, Tania had a long career with Breakthrough, a national college access program for low-income students. She served as Executive Director of The Silicon Valley site, served on the national board, and was on the national team that led the expansion of the Breakthrough model from one city to twenty-five cities nationwide.
Tania has been an education leader in the Bay area for 25 years. She helped found the first charter school in Silicon Valley, was on the board of Reading Partners while the organization expanded nationwide, helped establish a Spanish immersion pre-school, and has served on various other non-profit boards. Currently, Tania serves on the board of Breakthrough Silicon Valley and is the Board President of ACE Charter Schools.
She holds a BA in Sociology from Wesleyan University, a Master of Education with a concentration in Risk and Resiliency from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Certificate on Financial Planning from UC Santa Cruz.
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Melissa Barrera came to the U.S. at age 9 from Camargo, a small city near Chihuahua, México. She grew up in the border city of El Paso, TX, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Communications from The University of Texas at El Paso, a partner college with TheDream.US.
In 2007, she spent a year in St. Étienne, France in an exchange program, which motivated her in 2011, to spend a summer teaching ESL in Weihai, China. These two experiences broadened her perspective on education and world cultures, and contributed to her strong passion and appreciation for both. While interning with an agency in the Federal Government in 2012, she worked on an initiative to bring more underrepresented groups into the Federal workforce.
Contributing to that project deepened her connection to minority groups around the country, and strengthened her drive to give back to a community that she believes has given her so much.
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David Velazquez immigrated from Mexico with his mother and sister at the age of nine. Due to his mother’s unrelenting focus on education, David excelled in school but, when he started studying for his SAT’s, he learned that even with high scores, community service, and excellent grades, he could not attend any public university without paying out-of-state tuition. He took advantage of a program offered to seniors at his high school, which allowed students to take classes at a local community college without verifying immigration status. After a year at the community college, David was able to obtain legal permanent residency and transfer to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. There, he became a distinguished leader by instituting several organizations including the Hispanic College Awareness Program (HCAP), a student-led organization providing guidance, mentorship, and support for first-generation aspiring college students.
He has worked as a Policy Associate at the National Immigration Law Center and served as Legislative Aide for Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez before joining TheDream.US.
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