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Abel Ochoa

Executive Director, College Readiness and Access | The University of Chicago

"My long-term vision for the City of Chicago is to have a city where your zip code/neighborhood doesn't define your ability to compete and succeed at the highest levels. I hope to continue to advance this vision through my professional and philanthropic engagement with our city's youth and organizations that share the same mission of ensuring every young person in Chicago has the opportunity to reach and even exceed their full potential.”


Undergraduate Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, '07

Fun fact: I'm a hardcore fan of HBO's Game of Thrones.

Abel was born and raised in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood and currently serves as the Executive Director of College Readiness and Access at the University of Chicago. In this role, he helps the University develop, sustain and enhance ongoing education outreach and engagement initiatives. He works with various stakeholders and organizations that share the University’s interest in ensuring equitable outcomes for Chicago’s youth. Abel also provides leadership to the Collegiate Scholars Program and Office of Special Programs-College Prep, which are existing college readiness programs that are an integral part of the University of Chicago’s commitment to broadening access to the University’s transformative education and outreach programs.

For the past 12 years, Abel has worked with youth and coached them and their families in the college preparation process. Abel has cross-functional leadership experience in community outreach, college access, strategic planning, fundraising, program management and program evaluation. Before joining the University of Chicago, Abel worked for the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Northwestern University. Abel holds a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. Abel is an alumnus of the Latino Policy Forum’s inaugural 2016-2017 Multicultural Leadership Academy and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business 2017 Executive Program for Emerging Leaders.