James Huerta brings his experience working with students from under-resourced backgrounds and a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in education to his new role at The Broad Center at Yale SOM.
As a first-generation Mexican American, I learned the importance of education from an early age. While attending public schools in New York City from kindergarten through grade 12, I was fortunate to encounter dedicated and passionate educators who pushed me to reach my full potential and inspired me to pursue a career in education. After graduating from high school, I left New York to attend Boston College, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and human development and a master’s degree in higher education administration.
While completing my master’s degree at Boston College, I served as a graduate assistant in the Office of Urban Outreach Initiatives and had an opportunity to support the recruitment efforts of the College Bound Program, a pre-collegiate enrichment and support program offered to students attending Boston Public High Schools. After completing my master’s, I moved back to New York City to work at Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse American (LEDA), a national organization dedicated to identifying and developing the academic and leadership potential of exceptional public high school students from under-resourced backgrounds. Though my original plan was to become a teacher, my experiences at College Bound and LEDA led me to pursue a career in undergraduate admissions with a focus on increasing access to higher education for underrepresented student communities. As the first in my family to attend college, helping students from similar backgrounds navigate the college admissions process and the opportunity to advocate for these students during the selection process quickly became the most rewarding aspects of my job.
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work for organizations and institutions committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in education, which is the reason I was drawn to The Broad Center at Yale SOM. As a product of the New York City public school system, I know first-hand the transformative impact school leaders can have on the communities they serve. As associate director for admissions, I look forward to connecting with education leaders across the country and supporting The Broad Center’s efforts to strengthen leadership in public education.