Paola is originally from Colombia. She has a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics and a Graduate Certificate in Humane Education. In 2017, she left her job in Big Ag to focus her energy on fields related to advocacy for animals, humans and the environment. She currently serves on the board of directors of VegLifeDes Moines and volunteers at Iowa Farm Sanctuary. She also teaches Hispanic adults who want to complete their high school equivalency diploma, at a local community college.
Paola lives in Iowa with her husband, a loving dog, two bossy cats and with many house and garden plants. She is an avid gardener with a special passion for prairie plants.