Amber Huett-Garcia is a proud first-generation college student, mother, and advocate for access and equity for Memphians. She was the first, with her siblings, to earn a college degree, graduating with honors from Bradley University in Illinois. Education had always been scarce in her family. Her parents have a combined high school diploma. Only one generation earlier, her grandfather had an elementary education and never learned to read. Raised with the refrain of “get an education, get an education, get an education” – her parents knew it was the ticket to a life of choice.
Amber came to Memphis in 2011 from a career in Illinois state government where she worked on women’s health programs and policy and budget analyses. There she also earned her Masters in Public Administration at the University of Illinois, Springfield. Huett-Garcia monitored, recommended changes, and provided analysis to over $12 billion dollars in K-12 education funding from federal, state, and other sources. In this work, Amber saw that the kids and families most affected by decisions were the ones most overlooked – left alone to make up the shortfalls. With this, she was inspired to teach and joined Teach For America, and where she now serves as the Director of Development.
Over the last decade, Amber has been a national leader for people affected by obesity. She's the Chairwoman of the National Board of Directors for the Obesity Action Coalition, which provides education, advocacy, and support for their 60,000 members and the nearly 100 million nationwide affected by obesity.
Through her experiences, meeting with thousands of people across the country and in Memphis, Amber knows her life’s work has to be helping change the odds of success – not to just beat them. Amber knows what poverty feels and looks like and the very fine line many walk to try and stay or get ahead. We can make changes – big and small – that improve the quality of life for Memphians.