First-generation college students face barriers from start to finish. Amanda Manjarrez has a history of working cross-culturally to address and alleviate some of those barriers. Originally from New Mexico, Amanda arrived in Oregon to pursue a law degree at Lewis and Clark College. Since graduation she has stayed to continue her advocacy work as the Director of Advocacy with Latino Network. Prior to her role at Latino Network, she was the Advocacy Director at the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC).

Amanda grew up in rural New Mexico, where one street made its way through the entire town. Growing up, she recalls “[seeing] a lot of need in her community” but being so young she did not quite know what to make of it. Going to college to pursue an undergraduate degree was the “light bulb moment,” shares Amanda. “[W]hen I came across things like universal health care…I was really inspired to start to engage more in public policy.” Given a chance to work in advocacy by a firm engaging in New Mexican politics, she received the mentorship and knowledge which brought her to the director role she has today.

Read the full article about Amanda Manjarrez and her path to advocacy by Edward Gutiérrez at