Ramona Meza is a doctoral student in Educational Policy Studies. She is a graduate of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and a lifelong Chicago resident, proudly raised in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1960’s from a small town in central Mexico; their incredible work ethic and relentless perseverance were the assets that enabled her family’s success. She is the first woman in her family to obtain a college degree, and will be the first woman in her family to complete a doctoral program. Ramona began her professional career in education by running a community based after-school college readiness program for CPS high school students. She intimately understands the power that a strong educational foundation has in creating and sustaining healthy, successful, and fulfilling lives for students and plans to continue working in the field of higher education once she has completed her PhD program.