Prior to joining the National Urban Fellows – Academic and Leadership Fellowship Program, Giovana Espejo served as a K-12 Implementation Manager at EVERFI, a leading education technology company that ensures learners of all ages have access to the critical skills they need to live a more just life. In this capacity, Giovana fostered and supported executive level relationships at three of the country’s largest school districts (Broward County School District, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and the Puerto Rico Department of Education) while also managing a network of 1,000+ educators as they implemented EVERFI’s curriculum with their students. Through her work across South Florida and Puerto Rico, Giovana brought curriculum and critical skill development around financial literacy, college and career readiness, and social emotional learning to over 50,000+ learners.
From 2015-2019, Giovana served as the Senior Program Manager of Student Services and Program Operations at The Opportunity Network, an organization working to address the opportunity gap for students of color from low-income communities in NYC and across the country. In this multifaceted role, Giovana oversaw program administration and outcome measurements for their high school program, provided individual and group student support, as well as event planning and facilitation for volunteers. During her time at The Opportunity Network, Giovana was proud of the network of 195 school and community partners she cultivated relationships with and the student-centered programming she developed and facilitated serving 500+ students.
Giovana’s passion for closing the opportunity gap for young people is not only professional but personal. As a young adult she was surrounded by educators who encouraged her inquisitive nature and her pursuits of far-flung enrichment opportunities. These enrichment opportunities provided Giovana with the door into various communities and education spaces. From a farm in Vermont to the art galleries of Venice, Italy, Giovana was immersed in these privileged communities and in awe of the opportunities to learn and explore that they provided. This awareness into communities of privilege served as her catalyst to form spaces that prioritized inclusion and equity through opportunity.
Giovana received a B.A. in Global Studies and a minor in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she began her work to address the opportunity gap for young people while pursuing her degree. She became involved with Scholars’ Latino Initiative serving a Site Director and mentor for their multi-year mentorship program for North Carolina High School students and worked as the Senior Intern for UNC-Chapel Hill’s second class of Bonner Leaders housed at the Campus – Center for Social Justice.
Outside of work, Giovana continues to serve the educational opportunities that enriched her academic and professional journeys. She serves on The Mountain School of Milton Academy’s Alumni Committee, is a steering committee member of SEEDS: Access Changes Everything’s Career Affinity Group and is a 2020/2021 Miami’s Next Leaders fellow. Giovana is excited to begin the National Urban Fellows – Academic and Leadership Fellowship Program. She is eager to develop her knowledge of public policy, cultivate her management skills as a public service leader and learn from and with her cohort.