Managing Director, Individual Giving | Teach for America
"Talent is distributed equally among our youth, but access is not - I envision a Chicago that empowers and values all of our youth. I am committed to honoring our communities’ strengths and fighting for a better, more equal reality through strong bonds of community, a passion for action, and service to a cause greater than self."
Undergraduate Degree: University of Notre Dame, '10
Fun fact: I can't whistle but I can chirp like a bird.
Andrea Fernanda Serrano is the Managing Director, Individual Giving for Teach for America - Chicago - Northwest Indiana. Teach for America is a national corps of leaders who commit to teaching in low-income schools and work to increase their students' opportunities in life. In her role, Andrea facilitates philanthropy with a deep passion for social justice, cultural awareness and community engagement.
Her passions are rooted in her personal story as an immigrant. Born in the small fishing village of Bahía de Kino, Sonora, México, Andrea’s life dramatically changed at 6 years old, when she crossed the U.S.-Mexican border and started a new life in Mesa, AZ. Not knowing a word of English and having no familiarity with her new surroundings, she was thrust into a foreign culture.
Assimilating was difficult, but, with the support of her parents, teachers and school community, Andrea persevered. With a keen sense of awareness of her privilege and a desire to honor her family’s sacrifices, she excelled throughout her primary and secondary education. Her academic performance afforded her the opportunity to study at the University of Notre Dame, and her studies in anthropology further intensified her passion for cultural awareness and social justice.
After graduating in 2010, Andrea lived out her passion for national service through two AmeriCorps years with City Year Chicago. She tutored and mentored high school freshmen, facilitated deeper understandings of cultural competencies and organized community members across the city to create transformational impact in high-needs communities.
Andrea’s most defining attributes stem from her experiences as a birth mother. After placing her son up for adoption in 2012, Andrea’s life’s work has been an arduous, yet hopeful, fight to create a better world for her son, one that she was not able to provide him when she gave birth. She regularly shares her birth-mom journey on adoption panels to promote conversation and education on the birth-parent experience.
Andrea serves as a Director of The My Body, My Choice Project. She enjoys the outdoors and engaging in social justice conversations, and she is a lover of chimichangas. Andrea currently resides in Chicago. Follow her at @andreafserrano.