Juanita was born and raised in Saint Paul, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a B.A. in History and Political Science, and with her Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership Degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
She began her work as a community organizer with the Minnesota chapter of ACORN. Since 2004, she has worked on numerous electoral campaigns at the city, state and federal level in different staffing capacities.