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Michele Siqueiros

President (Habla Español)
Los Angeles Office

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Follow me on Twitter at: @MSCollegeOpp

Why I Do What I Do:

“I have full faith in the quintessential American promise: that someone who grows up in poverty – with ambition and some opportunity – can do great things and contribute to forming a more perfect union.  Higher Education is the opportunity that makes this promise possible.”

Alma Mater(s): Pitzer College, University of California at Los Angeles

Your role in one sentence: To influence California policy makers and college leaders so that more students can go to college and graduate and to be a voice and advocate for students as I champion efforts to eliminate racial inequities in higher education so that we can keep California’s economy strong.

When I am not at work helping students get to and succeed in college I am…I am cheering for my son at a soccer game and in awe by the passion and smarts of my daughter.

If not higher education then what cause? I would support undocumented students so more of them could realize their college dreams and I would fight for women’s equality. Can I also serve as company for Anthony Bourdain’s tapings of Parts Unknown?

Formal Bio:

Michele Siqueiros grew up in Los Angeles and was the first in her family to graduate from college thanks to federal, state and college financial aid. As the daughter of a hard-working immigrant mother from Mexico with only a sixth-grade education, she is passionate about the power of college to change lives, and the ability of policy-making to expand or constrain college opportunity for others.

As the President for The Campaign for College Opportunity, Siqueiros works to expand access and success in college for California students by raising public attention on the critical challenges facing higher education, mobilizing a broad coalition of supporters and influencing policymakers. The Campaign’s mission to increase college going and completion rates is driven by a strong belief that California’s future economic success depends on our ability to produce the best-educated workforce in the nation, and that our diverse population of young adults deserves the same opportunity provided to previous generations — regardless of race or socioeconomic status.

Under her leadership in 2010, the Campaign led the effort for historic transfer reform that made it easier for students to transfer from any California Community College to the California State University system. The Campaign has also assembled a statewide network of over 12,000 coalition supporters; involved over 50,000 young people and their families through the “Save Me a Spot in College” and “I’m One in A Million” scholarship contests, which awarded over $670,000 in scholarship dollars; released prominent reports on higher education’s impact on the California economy, access and success rates and workforce needs; and sponsored and passed legislation to increase access to Pell Grants, promote college readiness, innovate community college student success efforts and reform remedial courses. In the past eight years, she has raised over $9 million dollars and serves as a state and national spokesperson on higher education in California, with regular contributions to major newspapers and TV outlets across the state. Previously, she advised local policymakers and managed organizational partnerships as Senior Project Coordinator with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment in the City of Los Angeles, as founding Program Manager for Public Allies-Los Angeles, and as the Assistant Director of Constituency Services for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.

In 2015, the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation named her their Woman of the Year. Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) named her their HOPE Treasure in 2014. That same year, La Opinion newspaper gave her the Hispanic Leader Award for her leadership in education. In 2008, La Opinion named her one of Los Angeles’ Mujeres Destacadas (Outstanding Women). Siqueiros currently serves on the Boards of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the EdSource Advisory Council and the Alliance for a Better Community, and is a member of the Statewide Leadership Council for the Public Policy Institute of California. From 2011 to 2014, she served as a gubernatorial appointee to the California Student Aid Commission, the state agency responsible for distributing and awarding over $1.5 billion annually in Cal Grant aid to California college students. From 2005 to 2010, she served as an appointee of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the Board of Neighborhoods, overseeing the citywide system of neighborhood councils.

Siqueiros graduated from Pitzer College with a bachelor of arts degree in political studies with honors in Chicano/a studies. She received her master of arts in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She lives in the City of Los Angeles.