Charlene grew up in northern Kentucky and received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Transylvania University in Lexington. During undergraduate, she served as a student organizer for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice, and Kentucky Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights. Also as an undergraduate, she was a visiting research fellow for the Institute for Popular Democracy in Manila, Philippines conducting preliminary research on housing rights in Southeast Asia. After graduating, she worked for the KY Governor’s Scholars Program for several years. She also worked for Lexington Montessori School where as a Montessori teacher in early childhood education, she centered her teachings on diversity, equity, and peace.
She relocated to Atlanta for a few years where she gained a great deal of nonprofit fundraising experience focused on major donor and sponsor outreach, engagement, and retention strategies. She is an extrovert that is comfortable with people of all stripes. While in Atlanta, she volunteered as a coach for Girls on the Run of Atlanta where she eventually joined their development staff.
As a first generation immigrant, Charlene is interested in our work on immigration issues. She also has a passion for education reform, as well as LGBTQ non-discrimination and justice issues such as voting rights and police accountability.
Charlene is fluent in Tagalog and has a basic understanding of Spanish and Thai. In her free time, she loves chasing her toddler, swinging on porch swings, and exploring (and falling back in love with) Kentucky.