Maria Elena Morales, Co-founder and President of the Urban Scholars Union, a student organization that advocates for students with lived experience, committed to empowering all cultures transitioning from incarceration to education. She graduated from San Diego City College with a Liberal Art degree and has plans to use education as her foundation to advocate for those coming out of the criminal justice system. At 15 years old Maria Elena dropped out of the high school but went back and got her GED at the age of 21. A single mother of 5 children, she has managed to pave the way for her children and to teach them the importance of receiving an education at any age. She has also used her education to become a community leader in San Diego and is currently a JustLeadership USA Leading with Conviction 2016 Fellow, which is an advanced leadership training for formerly incarcerated, mid-senior level leaders with a specific and proven track record in advocacy and community organizing.