Yesenia Jimenez (she/ella) is a Policy Associate at GRACE/End Child Poverty in California. Originally from South Central Los Angeles, Yesenia moved into the Ramona Garden Housing Projects in Boyle Heights where her passion to abolish poverty grew. Yesenia began her career in policy as an undergraduate student working to end school lunch shaming in California alongside the Western Center on Law & Poverty. As an Emerson Fellow, Yesenia gained national recognition for her advocacy on college student hunger.
She has worked with a number of advocacy groups including the Center for Law and Social policy, the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, and the International Maya League where she has elevated the intersections of racial injustice and poverty, criminal justice, and indigenous rights.
She is a former Legislative Assistant for the California Assembly Public Safety chair, Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (AD-59) and served as a California Senate fellow for Senate Budget & Fiscal Committee chair, Senator Holly J. Mitchell (SD-30).
Yesenia graduated from Pasadena City College and later graduated from the University of California, Davis where she gained two bachelor’s degrees in Political Science – Public Service and Communication.
She is an alumni of two prestigious fellowships, the California Senate Fellowship Program and the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship. In her free time, Yesenia serves as an elected board member of the Feminist Democrats of Sacramento. Yesenia identifies as Guatemalan-American and is a descendant of the Maya Q’anjob’al.