Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Deciding to go to Notre Dame was huge. The school is so service-oriented, that I knew I wanted to devote my life to others very early on being there.
For many years I thought I wanted to go into foreign policy, but my interest in education and related issues of access and equity developed late in college. I switched majors to reflect this new path.
I did a year of service after college through a program called City Year, and the students I worked with in a public school on Chicago's South Side in that year shapes my worldview to this day.
I worked for nonprofits for years after college, never able to save up enough for grad school. I was able to go because the program I found had lots of aid built in. Look for those opportunities!
Keep following my journey

Career

Assistant Research Director

I conduct policy research and analysis and utilize data to advocate for education policy change.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Politics
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

Sometimes I spend a lot of my day at a desk crunching numbers, reading studies, and doing independent research. But the great thing about Children At Risk is that we really orient our data analysis and research toward action and policy change, so we also interface with other folks working in the policy space often. We meet with legislators, other public officials, education practitioners, advocates from other organizations, etc. to build advocacy coalitions and help drive systems-level change.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

A lot of organizations (like mine) have many internship opportunities that can be structured around school and other jobs. Take advantage of those to gain exposure to the policy world.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Why aren't you going to law school? If you're interested in education, why don't you become a teacher? What does it even mean to do public policy analysis and research?"

Challenges I Overcame

Family Mental Health Issues