Gresham-Barlow School Board Position 7
Amanda is a service worker and has been a waitress, bartender, actress, and barista for the past 13 years. She has lived in Gresham for 10 years with her Army veteran husband of nine years. Amanda was born in San Jose, California to a Mexican father and a Swedish mother and later moved to Wyoming when she was four after her father left her and her mother. Amanda’s mother worked multiple jobs as a single mother with no financial support from her father and went to college full time. This inspired a strong work and study ethic in Amanda. Amanda moved to Ogden, Utah, at the age of 10 and spent most of her life as a minority in predominantly white and Mormon communities. This helped Amanda find out who she is: she wasn’t like anyone else, and that’s okay, because being a different is great!
Amanda started her post-secondary education in 2009 at Mt. Hood Community College. While in college, Amanda was always politically driven and was encouraged to strive for greatness by her debate coach, Shannon Valdivia, the Director of Forensics at MHCC. Valdiva always saw potential in Amanda and always encouraged her to succeed and keep trying and fighting, no matter how tough times got in college. After MHCC, Amanda transferred to Portland State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. in Political Science.
After college in 2017, Amanda auditioned to be on a competitive Swedish reality TV show called “Allt för Sverige” ( “Everything for Sweden”), where she had a chance to travel to Sweden and meet her Swedish relatives. Even though she did not win the competition, what she learned was a prize in itself: she had amazing and loving relatives living in Sweden, and politics were in her blood. She discovered she is related to Sweden’s first female principal, Sigrid Jonsson, who later was recruited to the Ministry of Education and changed Sweden at the primary school level. Having learned all of this, Amanda found her calling and is running for Gresham-Barlow School Board, Position 7 to be the change she wants to see in her neighborhood, which she has come to love and call home.