Meet Our Staff


Sierra Francis Perez

Grants Coordinator
Hometown: Severn, MD

Sierra has a longstanding passion for social justice, indigenous ways of knowing, and serving her communities through the art of writing and storytelling. She holds her BA in Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communications (Applied Linguistics) from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she graduated cum laude from the Honors College.

At Elevate, Sierra uses her strengths in editing, research, and project administration to organize and uplift the causes of her clients – an ever-growing array of local and national organizations working in the arenas of racial equity, women’s empowerment, education, housing, international food/water security, and youth development.

Prior to joining Elevate, Sierra worked as a Youth Development Project Coordinator in Gambrills, Maryland. In this role, she served Native Boys & Girls Clubs across Turtle Island, providing clients with technical assistance, culturally relevant adaptations to federal grant programs, newsletter publications and best practice resources. She traveled frequently, visiting Clubs within the Menominee Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and state of Oklahoma.

Most notably during 2017, she attended a Child Protection Symposium in Bismarck, North Dakota to identify current tools and technologies that support AMBER Alert systems in Indian Country. That same year she and her colleagues collaborated with the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Native Services Unit and National Congress of American Indians to develop a behavioral health curriculum for youth enrolled in the T.R.A.I.L. to Diabetes Prevention Program.

Outside of Elevate, you will find Sierra exploring new places with her fiancé, Gabriel, tending to her indoor garden, and reading up on politics, wellness, and spirituality.

What is your hidden talent?

2-D art & design, and amateur photography.

What punctuation mark would you be and why?

A question mark, because I have to question everything, and my quest for knowledge is never-ending!

What is your grammatical pet peeve?

Run-on sentences can irk me, but like many linguists, my only true pet peeve is when the general public confuses stylistic convention for "proper" language use (verbal or written).

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Relaxing at home with good food, drinks, books, and my loved ones, probably watching Insecure or She's Gotta Have It re-runs!

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