Representative Diego Bernal was born in South Texas and raised in San Antonio. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School, he attended the University of Michigan, where he earned his undergraduate degree, Master's in Social Work, and law degree. As a social worker, he helped young gang members in Detroit transition out of a rough life and into school or the workforce. He continued this work in Harlingen, Texas with Communities in Schools (CIS), working with at-risk youth to improve literacy by founding a student newspaper.
During law school, he devoted himself to civil rights advocacy. He spent a summer in New York City with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and a year at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) back in San Antonio.
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