Program Coordinator, United Way of Greater Los Angeles
Katherine Trejo is a first-generation Salvadoran-American college graduate with a Bachelor’s in Politics and Latin American/Latino Studies from UC Santa Cruz. She lives in Historic Filipinotown with her Boston Terrier Lily, mom, brother, cousins, aunts, grandma, niece, and nephew in the same apartment complex where she was raised. Upon graduation from UC Santa Cruz, Katherine returned to her hometown and like many low-income first-generation students, became the head of household for her family. While simultaneously trying to address poverty and intergenerational poverty for her family, Katherine has been dedicated to supporting others to alleviate poverty for themselves and their families. In 2016, Katherine found her way to the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. There, she has built the Young Civic Leaders Program, engaging hundreds of LA BIPOC students in advocacy. Under Katherine’s leadership, these students from the highest-need communities and schools develop their capacity to challenge Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to prioritize equity for the highest-need students and schools in the district. Additionally, throughout their journey, Katherine prioritizes support services for her students and their families in financial literacy, financial assistance, college applications, FAFSA assistance, and case management. Most recently, Katherine co-authored a children’s book with her high school English teacher, YEFFERSON, ACTUALLY - a story about a young Salvadoran-American boy who makes a point to correct everyone who pronounces his name wrong. The picture book is slated for publication in Fall 2021 with Lil’ Libros. When Katherine is not working with her high school students and writing picture books she is supporting her high school via the alumni association she founded, leading mutual aid efforts in her community of HIFI, spending time with friends and family, watching cartoons, and listening to K-pop.