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Monica Gutierrez was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and currently attends Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is studying Government and International Affairs with minors in Spanish and Anthropology. Recently, she began to work closely with children through her local Boys and Girls Club and the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, which allowed her to mentor children one-on-one. These experiences made her realize the educational needs of children within her community and around the country, and inspired her to learn more about initiatives to improve education. She interned with the CDF Freedom Schools® team, helping work toward CDF’s goal to ensure that every child has a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life. She believes programs like CDF Freedom Schools are on the right path to achieving that goal. In her free time, Monica enjoys going on adventures and organizing anything she can get her hands on.