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Photo of Leal, Marissa G.

Marissa G. Leal

UPPF Graduate Mentor

Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement


Marissa G. Leal graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2021, receiving her B.A in Criminology, Law, and Justice, with a double minor in Disability & Human Development and Art. As an undergraduate student, Marissa was heavily involved with the LARES (Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services) Leaders Program. Considering herself an advocate, when given the opportunity Marissa jumps at the chance to get involved in the community. During her time with the program, she created two research posters and went on to present them at the 26th & 27th Annual ILACHE Conferences. After this, she went on to join UPPF as a student for the 2019-2020 cohort and is now returning as a UPPF Graduate Assistant. She interned with the Chicago Justice Project, assisting on many projects. She would later intern with the Chicagoland Disabled People Of Color Coalition and assist with their projects as well. In her spare time, she volunteers as an Election Judge, assisting on election day with the check-in and registration of voters. She is currently seeking her Master's Degree in Criminology, Law, & Justice and hopes to continue her education further. Her long-term goal is to enroll in law school and practice in the legal profession. With hope to one day, teach or advise at the college level.