Director of Community & Family Support
Vanessa Esparza is the Director of Community & Family Support. In this role, Vanessa plays an integral part of the Community Development Division overseeing three YPI community centers including: the Hollywood FamilySource Center, Pacoima Community Center and the San Fernando Gardens Community Center. Through these centers, the Community & Family Support Department serves over 3,000 individuals annually by providing academic support, asset building, case management, adult education, college and career readiness programs and supportive services to help individuals and families on the path to self sufficiency. In addition, Vanessa oversees the organization's financial empowerment and neighborhood revitalization programs which works hand-in-hand with the centers to create vibrant neighborhoods and thriving communities.
In her previous role with YPI, Vanessa served as the Associate Director for the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood (LAPN) Initiative. The LAPN Initiative is President Obama’s signature education and anti-poverty program strategically developed to transform schools and communities into vibrant centers of opportunity and excellence. As Associate Director, she oversaw the implementation of core strategies within YPI’s 18 community schools and three community centers in the Hollywood and Pacoima neighborhoods. Prior to joining YPI, Vanessa was the Associate Director of the Alliance for a Better Community (ABC), a Los Angeles based policy and advocacy organization promoting equity for Latinos in education, health, economic development and civic participation throughout the Los Angeles region.
As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, Vanessa has a deep commitment to support those communities with the greatest need, to expand those opportunities that allowed her to succeed in life. Through her experience working in the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors, Vanessa understands the importance of building community capacity and an ecosystem of support for individuals and families to create thriving communities. This commitment has been a guiding principle in both her personal and professional life.
Vanessa earned her master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University.