Jessica Edith Tovar

National (2018)

Project Director

Moving Forward Network, UEPI at Occidental College

Whittier, California

I am a first generation college student and a 1.5 generation immigrant from Mexico. My parents came here so that we could have opportunities that they never had growing up. I came when I was 7 years old and we moved in to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, California. I have my B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from University of California, Irvine and my Masters in Social Work from University of California, Los Angeles. 

I am passionate about making a positive difference to provide opportunities for others that come from disadvantaged backgrounds like me. My work after graduate school led me to become the Project Manager for the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma where they work on improving children’s asthma through a socio-ecological model that includes direct in-home services, community/school/clinic trainings, community engagement and environmental health policy work. 

Currently, I help coordinate the Moving Forward Network located at the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute. The Network links community-based organizations, scientists, environmental, health, research, legal, media, and coalition advocates, and builds the individual and collective capacity of network participants to ensure that issues of health, environment, community, and labor are central to the transportation and goods movement planning and policy process.

I have a beautiful two year old son, Mateo that keeps me busy and has given me even more motivation to be the best person I can be. I live with my family in Whittier, California.