Co-Founder and Chief Program Officer
Vanessa Luna is the Co-Founder and Chief Program Officer of ImmSchools, an immigrant-led nonprofit organization that transforms schools into safe and welcoming spaces for undocumented students and families. Vanessa immigrated to the U.S. at the age of ten from Lima, Peru, and grew up undocumented in NY. She was the first one in her family to graduate from college and her undocumented experience deeply impacted her choice for a career in Education. In 2014, she joined Teach For America as a DACAmented teacher and taught in Los Angeles and NYC, where she witnessed the need to provide greater support for the immigrant community within our schools. Vanessa holds a BA from Binghamton University and an MA in Urban Education and Policy from Loyola Marymount University. She was awarded the 2016 Urban Education Student Researcher of the Year Award for her research on the threat of deportation and its impact on middle school students. She has served as a founding member of Teach For America DACA Advisory board, was a Camelback Ventures Fellow and a Roddenberry Foundation Fellow. In 2019, she was selected as Forbes 30 under 30 in Education and an inaugural TIME 100 Next listmaker for her work and leadership in developing inclusive schools for immigrant families. Vanessa is a nationally recognized leader in the intersection of immigration and education and has been featured in The New York Times, ABC Nightline, Forbes, TIME and Ed Week. Vanessa is inspired by her parents and the immigrant community to fight for educational equity and immigrant justice. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.