Vianey was raised in the neighborhood of Pacoima in the Northeast San Fernando Valley after migrating from Mexico, Oaxaca at the age of 3 with her family. As a DACA recipient and first-generation college student, she often found herself questioning the aid of other undocumented students and why her community was limited in resources. One of her early involvements started in high school in 2014 when advocating for the protection of her local environment. She engaged Northeast San Fernando Valley youth through mentorship and program development as an assistant for the Young Warriors Youth Mentoring Program. Her programs used arts, music, poetry, entrepreneurship and ancestral teachings as tools for self-empowerment.
Later, she continued on the same path by becoming taking on a lead role as a community naturalist with Community Nature Connection, where she would lead outdoor bilingual interpretive programs to the public and youth in local, state and national parks. With outdoor access under her belt at the local level, she would go on to advocate and lobby at the capital for state funding for outdoor equity programs in under-resourced communities like Pacoima. With a passion for environmental and social change, Vianey received her bachelor of arts degree in political science with a minor in sustainability. She is excited to continue to work as a youth mentor for the next generation of environmental stewards and advocates as a Youth Coordinator with Pacoima Beautiful. Vianey is also engaged in program access aimed at creating green spaces for park-poor and food desert communities in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Vianey enjoys birding, camping, running and dancing cumbias during her time off from work.
Thematic photo by Manda Hansen