Ce-Ce graduated from Cedar Crest College with a degree in Elementary Education. As the first person in her family to finish high school and graduate from college, Ce-Ce understood the life-changing impact that a quality education has for a person, their family and their community. After graduating, Ce-Ce decided to give back to her community by working for non-profits including the Caring Place Youth Development Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Allentown.
She got involved in local campaigns and saw first-hand how the decisions that local leaders made were effecting the families and youth that she worked with. She watched young people drop out of school, struggle to learn English, attend crumbling schools and lack opportunities for creative expression. Ce-Ce ran for Allentown School Board in 2011 and became the youngest member ever elected at that time.
When the school district administration wanted to disseminate the arts and layoff hundreds of teachers, Ce-Ce voted “No”. When there was an effort to eliminate the highly successful Newcomer Academy, which helps new arrivals to the United States acclimate, Ce-Ce said, “No”. When attempts were made to undermine the effectiveness of the Graduation Attainment Initiative Network, Ce-Ce fought back and helped secure the program. She stood with paraprofessionals in their fight for a living wage and stood aside teacher’s as they advocated for their student’s needs. Ce-Ce has never been afraid to be the voice of dissention and was a tireless advocate for Allentown families and staff on the School Board.
This activism extended into the community where Ce-Ce took on developers and corrupt politicians. Before the PPL Center was built, she stood with residents as they fought for a community benefits agreement that would bring tangible benefits to the neighborhoods surrounding the arena. She then led the “Allentown Jobs First” effort to ensure that Allentown residents would have the first opportunity to apply for the new jobs downtown. Ce-Ce then fought for politicians and developers to pass an inclusionary zoning ordinance, which would increase the number of affordable homes built in Allentown. Again, Ce-Ce wasn’t afraid to take on the tough issues even when they were politically unpopular.
Ce-Ce witnessed how the lack of quality, safe and affordable housing directly effected the students and families in Allentown. She saw the lack of recreational and educational opportunities for youth and adults and the need for more investment in working class neighborhoods throughout the city so she decided to once again increase her commitment to the people of Allentown by running for City Council.
Ce-Ce hit the ground running from the moment she was sworn into Council by bringing together leaders and organizations working with our homeless community. She noticed that the great work being done was happening in silos so she introduced her first piece of legislation forming an Allentown Commission on Homelessness. As the nation and the city grappled with COVID19, policing and an overdue racial reckoning Ce-Ce took the lead and introduced legislation calling for police reform and oversight. She understands that true leadership is tested during times of challenge and controversy. Ce-Ce has never stopped standing with and standing up for Allentown residents.
Ce-Ce was a teacher and a mental health worker. She is now a street outreach worker for homeless youth. She is a proud first-time homeowner in Center City and enjoys spending time with her God-Daughter’s, their children and her three pets.