Veronica Polanco was born and raised in the heart of Boyle Heights. She attended local public schools before entering the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, she quickly identified the need to build community and leadership within the Latinx students and eventually co-founded the Latino Ivy League Conference, which brought together Latinx students from all the Ivy schools. Since returning to Boyle Heights, she has worked for nonprofits focused on bettering her community. Most recently, she worked for the Center for Powerful Public Schools, whose mission is to ensure equity in education for all students and to prepare students for college. In 2017, she was elected to the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council; in 2019, she was elected its President. Two initiatives she spearheaded in that role were bringing mobile showers for the unhoused community in Boyle Heights and hosting monthly community cleanups.