Meet the Winners
Jacqueline Martinez works within her community to dismantle stigma and is committed to helping to eliminate the education and opportunity gap for black and brown youth from low-income communities. She employs policy advocacy and various communications tools to promote narrative change. As a witness to the inequities of education in her neighborhood, she has worked with teachers and administrators to start a mentoring program between her high school and its under-resourced feeder middle school, recruiting peers to help mentor middle school students. After observing that many low-income families start college planning too late, Jackie started a financial literacy program so students and families could learn more about building credits, college requirements and financial aid options. Recently, Jacqueline was a leader in organizing South Los Angeles’ first TEDx Youth Talk, where attendees heard about issues impacting their community like mental health, environmental justice, technology, and diversity. Jackie is dedicated to increasing collaboration, awareness and unity by identifying and building on her community’s strengths to uplift the voices of youth leaders. She is currently a freshman at the University of Southern California where she is exploring NGOs, social change, Luso-Brazilian studies, and cinematic arts.