Originally from a bilingual/bicultural town in the southernmost Texas/Mexico borderland, Esmeralda came to Y.O.U. via North Carolina where she was an ESL teacher, curriculum designer, and university instructor. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, a Masters in Culture, Curriculum, and Change from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a PhD in Cultural Studies and Literacies also from UNC-Chapel Hill. Esmeralda specializes in developing youth programming based on culturally relevant curriculum, anti-racist education, and critical feminism. When she is not working with youth and their educators/advocates, Esmeralda likes to go on long hikes with her dog Xochitl and binge watch all the television.