Natalie Ruiz

Natalie serves The Opportunity Institute as a Program Coordinator for the Renewing Communities initiative. She graduated with Highest Honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology and Social Welfare. As a non-traditional student herself, Natalie dedicated herself to serving the student-parent community. Throughout her undergraduate career she directed and led a food-assistance program, providing almost daily food donations to low-income students with children. Her volunteer and advocacy efforts have been recognized numerous times: She is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Civic Engagement, Peter E. Haas Public Service Award, and was most recently recognized by UC President Janet Napolitano for Outstanding Student Leadership. Passionate about identifying and challenging root causes of generational poverty, Natalie is enthusiastic to support the Renewing Communities staff in their efforts to build pathways that shift individuals’ lives away from the trajectory of criminal justice and towards social mobility.