Cheryl Klein credits her undergraduate years at UCLA with opening her eyes to diverse communities and progressive values, as well as the joys of musical theater (she was one of those kids who camped out in front of the theater for discount tickets to RENT). She has worked in the arts and for nonprofits ever since, first for the literary service organization Poets & Writers, and then for Homeboy Industries, helping former gang members and previously incarcerated individuals reenter society. Most recently, she served as Senior Communications Manager for 826LA, a youth writing and tutoring organization. After working in direct service for many years, she is excited to support the Campaign’s work toward systemic change in higher education.
When not writing grants, Cheryl writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She is the author of a memoir (Crybaby, from Brown Paper Press), a novel (Lilac Mines, from Manic D Press), and a short story collection (The Commuters, from City Works Press). She is a columnist and co-editor for MUTHA Magazine, where she often writes about adoption, anxiety, and the massive amounts of plastic toys that find their way into her home.
UCLA (BA in English) and CalArts (MFA in Writing)
Alma Maters: UCLA (BA in English) and CalArts (MFA in Writing)
Your role in one sentence: I help tell our story to funders so they’ll be inspired to support the Campaign’s work.
When I am not at work helping students get to and succeed in college I am… picking Cheerios and Hot Wheels cars off the floor (thanks, kids), but also—when I’m lucky—writing fiction and creative nonfiction.
If not higher education then what cause? Supporting the needs of youth and families in the foster care system, or previously incarcerated individuals.