Fernanda Oliveira Costa
Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator
Fernanda supports the smooth and efficient operations of IISC’s board of directors, president and senior leadership team. Prior to her work at IISC, Fernanda provided office assistance, including executive/personal assistance to the founder and CEO, at Jenzabar and The Jenzabar Foundation. Simultaneously, Fernanda has dedicated a significant amount of time and effort towards volunteer work on a local and national level. Previously, she supported young adults’ leadership and self development for four years through retreat directing and group meeting facilitation in Lexington, MA. For another four years preceding that, she helped foster children’s development through directing and dance instruction at a free performance arts program in Framingham, MA. Currently, she advocates for the rights and sustainability of undocumented immigrants, including DREAMers (aka DACA recipients), at the University of Massachusetts Boston Student Immigrant Alliance (SIA) and as an immigrant rights advocate, network weaver, and resource coordinator intern in the office of Massachusetts Senator Jamie Eldridge.
Fernanda is a DACA recipient from Goiania, Goias, Brazil who migrated to the United States at the age of 15 with her mother and three sisters to escape poverty and injustices and danger against girls and women in Brazil. Fernanda remained in the U.S. when her family returned to their country of origin in 2007 due to challenges faced as immigrants in the U.S. Then, at 20 years of age, Fernanda believed she needed to stay to pursue education that would one day allow her to become a better advocate for justice. Thanks to the DACA program, released as an executive order by President Obama in 2012, and the support of her communities, Fernanda is on a journey to earn not only a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, but also her Master’s in Public Administration (Gender, Leadership & Public Policy track) at UMass Boston. She has also served on the Board of UMass Boston’s SIA, for the fourth semester now. Throughout the years, she also has pursued studies in theology in her native language, Brazilian Portuguese. Fernanda has resided in the greater Boston area since her migration to the US in 2002.
Fernanda’s commitment to diversity, multiculturalism, collaboration, and equity is evident in her work. She is a dynamic and strategic thinker, a convener, and an experienced administrative professional. She is also known for her creativity and thoughtful attention to details. She aspires to deepen in awareness, humility, tenacity, and grace in her journey of continuing to develop diligent and effective leadership and management capacity – for both local and global work.
Fernanda is an empathetic individual who endeavors to promote social awareness, healing and restorative justice. Wherever she goes, Fernanda tries to cultivate constructive change and sustainability, and values justice that is founded in love. In her personal life, she considers living out her faith important, and enjoys spending quality time with loved ones, including her pets. Her other interests include reading, writing, dancing, running, hiking, traveling, and bringing hope and joy to the world around her.