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Carlos Peña

Grants Coordinator

As a first-generation Honduran-American, Carlos is the youngest and the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Carlos witnessed and experienced several inequities related to the economy, such as limited affordable housing and access to healthy low-cost foods, all of which have elevated his dedication to improving the lives of underprivileged families.

Before CNC Education Fund, Carlos was a legislative researcher for the Hawaii legislature within the Ways & Means Committee. While on the committee, he analyzed and recommended bills concerning human services, health, and housing. Carlos contributed to the passage of some of the state's most comprehensive legislation, including the minimum wage bill, which would raise the state's minimum wage to $18 by 2028, helping thousands of working-class Hawaiian residents earn a livable wage. Moreover, Carlos helped more than 100 Latino students navigate the community college system as a peer mentor, providing one-on-one mentoring, educational presentations on financial literacy, effective studying techniques, and networking skills.

Carlos graduated from Berkeley City College with an associate in political science. He brings his passion for social justice and research skills to CNC as a grants coordinator, helping support the executive team in the development and management of grant funding to help the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods.