Dyana and her friend, Hannah, at their high school debate tournament.
A proud third generation
Mexican-American & community college graduate
Raised in Merced and Berkeley, California, Dyana began her journey in the community college system at the age of 16 in a concurrent enrollment program through her high school. Like many first-generation and low-income Californians, Dyana was able to attend Merced College for free through the Board of Governors (BOG) fee waiver program. In her time there, she served as a student senator on the Associated Students of Merced College and interned for Congressman Dennis Cardoza.
Dyana has always had a knack for smart leadership and policy, but her education put her on a path toward a successful career in community service.
Dyana and her friend, Samantha, in their first year at Merced College.
From Merced to Berkeley: A life-long advocate for quality college education
Dyana’s passion for education stems from her desire to bridge the achievement gap especially in rural and low-income communities. Her passion was further shaped by her experience as a community college student advocating for transferable courses to the University of California system when they were at risk of being cut.
After earning her Associate Degree in History, Dyana transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in American History and Chicano Studies. While at Berkeley, Dyana was heavily involved in advocating for transfer students, many of whom tend to be older, navigate the student services center for academic and financial support in a public school of more than 30,000 students.
Eager to build on her passion for community advocacy, Dyana worked for Robert Gnaizda, co-founder and General Counsel of the Greenlining Institute, an Oakland-based public policy think-tank, that holds big banks accountable for racist redlining practices and advocating for racial and economic equity. Inspired by her work at Greenlining, Dyana enrolled into the Public Policy program at Mills College in Oakland, graduating with a Masters degree in Public Policy.
Dyana graduating from UC Berkeley.
A non-profit leader with a long track record of empowering women and people of color
Dyana currently works with HOMEY as Associate Executive Director. HOMEY is a 21-year old youth-centered and violence prevention nonprofit that works with Bay Area youth to address systemic violence in communities of color and provide a pathway for at-risk youth to pursue education. Dyana also sits on the executive board of Jobs with Justice San Francisco, a coalition of grassroots community organizations and labor unions representing the voices of the Bay Area’s working families.
In addition to her work in the nonprofit sector, Dyana is a seasoned political campaign consultant with success electing mayoral, city council and school board candidates in the East Bay. She is a co-founder of the East Bay Latino Democratic Club, sits on the East Bay Women’s Political Alliance, the Latino Young Democrats in the East Bay boards and is an associate on the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee. In 2014, Dyana was appointed by Mayor Jesse Arreguín to the Berkeley Community Environmental Advisory Commission and served as Vice Chair until 2018.
Dyana is an 11-year resident of Berkeley's Northside neighborhood and spends her spare time exploring the East Bay with her partner Glenn Loveall, a labor organizer for Ironworkers Union Local 378.