I was raised in ethnically, culturally, economically, and socially diverse communities, which has helped me appreciate diversity and inclusion. As a first-generation college graduate, my personal and familial experiences taught me to value social equity and public service. Early on I realized that while my direct-service work in the community was meaningful, I still had unanswered questions about how to solve the social problems plaguing the community. Witnessing both positive and negative aspects of the criminal justice system, my experiences and interdisciplinary educational training shaped my perspective towards criminal justice more broadly. More importantly, my experiences have fueled my passion to find evidence-based solutions to policy problems and enhance the quality of government.