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Achieving equity through student-focused policies

Julianne Camacho admits that she was privileged to have an incredible education.

“My parents came to America, with the all-too-common immigrant story — to make a better life for themselves and their future children. With the help of family and friends and financial sacrifices on their part, my parents were able to settle down in a district that had excellent schools.”

Now, she strives to bring about educational equity for students around the country to have the same opportunity she did through her work as a Public Policy Fellow. 

The Public Policy Fellowship is a paid, full-time, nine-month opportunity for LEE members to accelerate their policy or advocacy career.

As a fellow working with Chiefs for Change, Julianne partners with 23 active school leaders from across the country, 9 at the state level and 14 at the district level.

“My team at Chiefs for Change provides support and opportunities to help our chiefs push student-focused policies in their states and districts. This has lead to remarkable gains for students, where we see growth in achievement double and triple the national average, and increased choices for parents in the states and districts that our chiefs work in. We are bringing more equity to some of the most vulnerable populations in the country, which is the reason why I am in this work.” 

Most recently, her work has been with the Future Chiefs program, which is a program looking to increase the number of diverse, prepared, and bold leaders to step into state and district education chief roles. 

“This is personal for me as a woman of color because our country is facing a diversity crisis in leadership in almost every sector. In education, representation matters for our students, and with a majority of our students being students of color, there is no reason that our education leaders do not match that makeup. To put it into perspective, only 5 of the 51 (including D.C.) state education chiefs are leaders of color. That 10 percent, to me, is unacceptable.” 

Julianne’s vision for ending educational inequity begins and ends with the community. She strongly believes that the communities that she wants to serve must be the driving force of educational equity with the support of allies and those currently in power. 

“I believe I play a two-part role in achieving this vision due to the intersectionality of my identities of being an Asian American woman with economic and cisgendered privilege. I see myself utilizing my privilege and ability to be in places and spaces of power to uplift the voices of the marginalized communities.”

For Julianne, this means working her way through the policy world to a public leadership role with the help of LEE.

“LEE has been instrumental in my professional development and network. Transitioning from the classroom to policy is not easy, but LEE has been there from day one providing professional development to hone my skills and a network of coaches and peers to open doors to roles and opportunities.”

If you are interested in applying for the Public Policy Fellowship, click here.