Johanna Arias

Events Manager
Los Angeles Office
Full Bio Headshot
"Higher education should not be a luxury reserved for the privileged few. It is my belief that every student should be given the opportunity to achieve a higher education and never be limited by their race, income, or status."

Johanna Arias was raised in the Inland Empire, in the cities of Temecula and Murrieta, California. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico at a young age, seeking opportunities for their families. She is one of six members of her immediate family.

Johanna developed a passion for public policy during her high school years and throughout her college experience. Her time at community college ignited her interest in higher education advocacy and dismantling the stigma associated with attending community college. She personally experienced the challenges of transferring, commuting, and working full-time while being a Latina first-generation college student. These experiences motivated her to pursue a degree in Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside, where she believed more support was deserved by students like herself.

Utilizing the UC Transfer Admission Guarantee, Johanna immersed herself in the vibrant community of policymakers, influencers, and implementers across the Inland Empire and the State of California. During her time at UC Riverside, she engaged with the Governor’s Office, several California Assemblymembers, the California State Controller, and the United States Office of Government Ethics. She also co-hosted her college’s weekly policy discussion podcast, covering current world issues and exploring potential policy solutions.

Johanna is currently a graduate student at the University of Southern California, pursuing her M.Ed. in Educational Counseling. At USC, she contributes to research at the Rossier Pullias Center for Higher Education, where she collaborates on projects aimed at improving college access and success for underrepresented students. Her journey reflects her commitment to advocating for educational equity and supporting students in overcoming barriers to success.

Johanna loves reading books, discovering new music and enjoys music from bands like Tool, Deftones, and Balance and Composure.