Lorena Aceves is a research scientist II in the education research area at Child Trends. Being a first-generation Latina student herself, Dr. Aceves’ mission with her career is to use developmental science to empower Latinx communities and transform educational systems to be more equitable at the intersection of research, policy, and practice. Her research has focused on examining the cultural, familial, and individual level factors that contribute to Latinx youth’s educational success.
Prior to joining Child Trends, Dr. Aceves served as a postdoctoral fellow with the Society for Research on Child Development Federal Policy at the Office of Head Start within the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Dr. Aceves was actively involved in the policy and training and technical assistance divisions of Head Start. This experience allowed her to understand how policy, training, and technical assistance operate for a federally-led, locally-operated program. At Head Start, she also was actively involved in Office of Head Start’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) commission and helped lead DEIA initiatives across the office.
Dr. Aceves recently published a Social Policy Report titled Transforming Policy Standards to Promote Equity and Developmental Success Among Latinx Children and Youth. This report focuses on how to apply an equity lens on the developmental experiences of Latinx children and youth. She is also invested in the success and access to diverse career paths of junior Latinx scholars. She spends some of her free time mentoring and running a support group for junior Latinx scholars in developmental science. Dr. Aceves earned her PhD and MS in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University.