DeNiqua Matias was raised in the South Ward of Newark, NJ. Living in a household with her mother, father, brother, aunts, uncle, and grandmother she developed a strong sense of family values and togetherness. She attended preschool at Clinton Hill Community & Early Childhood Center, Inc., founded more than twenty years ago by her grandmother, the late Mrs. Marguerite Bush, and where she is currently Assistant Director. DeNiqua oversees one of the largest private preschool programs in the City of Newark. Her 19-year tenure in Early Education has provided her an extensive background in educational policies and practices.
DeNiqua Matias is a life-long member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and former Youth Advisor for the Newark Branch Unit. Throughout the years she has been involved in protests against cuts to State funding for education, and advocating for equitable resources for economically disadvantaged families on a local and state level. In 2010 she appeared on WPIX11 to talk about the need for equitable resources and stronger parental engagement in Newark Public Schools.
In 2012, DeNiqua was elected to the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board. During her tenure she served on the following committees: Program & Instruction (Chair, 2012-2015), Finance (2013-2015), Legal (2012-2013), Constituent Service (2012-2013), and Personnel (2014-2015). She also served as a member of the District Evaluation Advisory Committee, as well as the Newark Early Childhood Advisory Council. On the state level, DeNiqua served as a member of the NJ School Board Association Legislative Team, representing District 29 and the NJ School Board Association, Urban School Board Committee.