Karina Medrano

Research Fellow
Los Angeles Office

Alma Mater(s): California State University Northridge (CSUN), Currently at USC Rossier School of Education

Your role in one sentence: I support the research team in advocating for policy change to improve systems of higher education for ALL students, especially students of color and from underrepresented communities.

When I am not at work helping students get to and succeed in college I am… hiking, watching reality television, hanging out with my dad, or researching what new restaurant, concert, or museum I want to visit.

If not higher education then what cause? Advocating for the wrongfully incarcerated, immigration issues, child abuse/trafficking.

Formal Bio:

Karina was born and raised in Los Angeles, specifically Echo Park and East Hollywood. She is a first-generation college student. She was the first in her immediate and extended family to earn a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cal State Northridge.

Being part of the Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) in middle school and high school inspired her to work in education. Just like GEAR UP motivated her to pursue a higher education, she wants to motivate and inspire first-generation students from low-income backgrounds, underrepresented communities, and immigrant families to dream big! Go for that college degree!

Before joining the Campaign for College Opportunity, she worked for Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, USC Campus Activates, and still currently works at Pasadena City College with the Educational Opportunity Program & Services (EOP&S) as a success coach. In all of her roles, she has mentored and guided students in pursuing educational and career goals. Her next steps are completing her Master’s degree in Educational Counseling at USC, continue working with college access and persistence issues in higher education, and pursuing her doctorate degree.