Born and brought up in Pasadena, California, Josie was educated at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She holds Bachelor’s in English and Spanish with honors, and a Master’s in Literature. Josie began her career in public health as a volunteer and volunteer coordinator for Defensa de Mujeres, a Latina-based nonprofit providing support and counseling to victims of domestic violence. She also served on the Board of Directors of Triangle Speakers for four years, a nonprofit education program that works to eliminate LGBT discrimination in schools. Josie has spoken in diverse educational settings, including high schools, alternative schools, probation programs and parents’ groups about deeply personal and political topics that include sexuality, gender, and ethnicity. Josie is a founding member of Rise Up and started her tenure at the Public Health Institute 15 years ago working with youth and leadership programs focused in the area of sexual and reproductive health. Josie leads program implementation and curriculum development, and oversees Rise Up’s monitoring and evaluation strategy, with the goal of capturing programmatic successes and lessons learned. Josie is married and lives in the East Bay. She spends her free time baking gluten-free banana bread with her twin boys and ideating revolutionary children’s’ books.