Wendy Cervantes (Former Staff) Vice President
Wendy Cervantes is the Vice President of Immigration and Child Rights for First Focus and the Director of the Center for the Children of Immigrants. In these roles she is responsible for leading the organization’s work in cross-sector policy areas that impact children of immigrants and their families including child welfare, immigration, education, human rights, family economics, and health. She also co-directs the racial equity work of the organization with a focus on developing policies to improve outcomes for the increasingly diverse U.S. child population.
Before joining First Focus, Cervantes was Director of Programs at La Plaza, a Latino community-based organization in central Indiana. At La Plaza she oversaw the implementation and evaluation of education, health, and social service programs that reached over 7,000 families annually. Prior to La Plaza, Cervantes worked at the Annie E. Casey Foundation where she managed the national immigrant and refugee families portfolio and the District of Columbia portfolio. While at the Foundation, she also oversaw the KIDS COUNT immigrant state policy grants and led the Foundation’s efforts on family literacy and immigrant adolescent development.
Cervantes also has experience as a community organizer, an adult ESL instructor, and a youth program coordinator. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Center on Immigration and Children Welfare, the Honorary Board of Welcome.US, and the Advisory Committee of the IMUMI Family Unity Project. She previously served on the Steering Committee of the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the UN Convention on the Right of the Child and on the Associate Board of the Latin American Youth Center. In 2011, she was selected as an ALL IN Fellow with the National Hispana Leadership Institute. The proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, Cervantes holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies and Political Science from the University of New Mexico and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Southern California.