Director of Policy
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Ximena Leyte Escalante
Marketing and Engagement Coordinator
Christina Warden is an expert on strategies to help working and adult students earn their GED and succeed in college. She leads Women Employed’s Education and Training team to ensure that more low-skilled Illinoisans earn credentials of economic value. She manages WE’s partnership with City Colleges of Chicago to help low-skilled adults access education and career pathways and her efforts have helped to increase supports for non-traditional students and improved educational pathways leading to better-quality, better-paying jobs for working women.
Warden’s work with City Colleges has resulted in the development of curricula for a series of bridge programs, which help low-skilled adults prepare for college-level coursework in the context of their chosen careers. The work of her team resulted in the creation of a collective impact project involving fifteen organizations and the City Colleges of Chicago to create an aligned, citywide career and program pathway. This Career Foundations Consortium is designed to ensure that any low-skilled Chicagoan has the opportunity to improve his or her skills and transition to a post-secondary credential leading to a job with family-supporting wages. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, she led a coalition of advocates who collaborated to ensure that Chicago and Illinois took full advantage of The Recovery Act’s workforce development provisions in a way that was transparent, equitable, and served low-income women.
Warden came to WE in 2007 with 20 years of experience as an advocate and strategist for improving public K-12 education. In that capacity, she built a national network of school reform leaders focused on changing management practices in order to improve conditions for students in public schools and support the work of teachers in the classroom.
Warden holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Loyola University of Chicago.