Erica Swinney Stein is the Associate Director for the Center for Polytechnical Education and serves as the coordinator for career and community programs at Austin Polytechnical Academy, a new innovative high school on Chicago’s Westside described by President Obama as a model in career education. Before joining CPE’s staff she worked as a bi-lingual community organizer, grassroots leadership trainer, and program manager for environmental justice organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and California’s San Joaquin Valley for over 5 years. Prior to that, she completed her MA in Ecology at SFSU and worked on habitat restoration projects around the SF Bay Area. Erica served 2 years in Peace Corps Paraguay and 18 months in Americorps after completing her BA in Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. Erica is a product of Chicago’s Public Schools and was raised in the Humboldt Park and Logan Square neighborhoods.