Melissa Maldonado serves as a Policy Analyst on the Illinois Policy team at Start Early, where she supports state legislative advocacy efforts in early childhood by working with the legislature and other policymakers in Springfield. Prior, she served as a Career Pathways Program Manager in Denver, Colorado where she led various early childhood workforce and professional development initiatives in Denver County. She also previously worked with children and families of Mesa County, Colorado, teaching early literacy and early bi-literacy skills during library programs and community outreach events. In addition to her expertise in early childhood, she has also participated in immigrant rights advocacy and child welfare as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in the foster care system of Colorado.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Speech and Communications from Colorado Mesa University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) in Child Law and Policy with Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law and a Master of Science (MS) in Child Development with Erikson Institute.