I understand our Judson because I understand our scholars, families, and communities.
I grew up in a family that was lead by my single mother and a tremendous foundation strong and caring family and friends. I am a first-generation American. Our family immigrated from Mexico and Cuba. Growing up as a Spanish speaker in an immigrant household, I navigated unchartered and uncertain waters. Our family ensured that my brother and I never forgot what love felt like. However, like many, we also knew what struggle, poverty, and uncertainty always tastes, smells, and sounds the same regardless of your native tongue or where you live.
I grew up knowing the power of education and yearned for it even when my infrastructure of knowledge and support in that arena was limited or non-existent. This drove me to achieve things as an adult that seems foreign and inconceivable as a child.
My road toward today was filled with roadblock and bridge alike. I had wonderful educators and mentors throughout my educational journey but also had moments of disappointment with our academic system which is what has driven my work in adult education and K12 policy.
My first job was alongside my mom as a nighttime janitor cleaning offices including Region 20 ESC after getting out of class during high school.
I graduated from St. Mary's University and graduated with a B.A. in International Relations. I have spent 15 years in the public and private sector working at the intersection where policy, business, and education meet to strengthen people and our communities.
I am married to Marisa Perez- Diaz, a member of the Texas State Board of Education and former school administrator and Child Protective Service Manager. Currently, she is a PhD fellow at UTSA. We have two kids (ages 3 and 4) with another little treasure on the way. We own Jugo, small San Antonio-based business.