Dahyun Son saw how inequity affected her classroom every day. That experience drove her to want to make more informed, equitable policy decisions, but she wanted more experience to be able to make the kind of impact she hoped.
Dahyun decided to participate in a policy and advocacy workshop, which helped further motivate and inspire her to pursue policy work.
“The individuals who attend the workshop are driven people who are each doing amazing work in education, whether within schools or outside schools. I was able to meet people and create relationships that I’ve sustained beyond the workshop and learned about the different paths and types of impact other leaders are making and ways that I could even potentially join them.”
She also felt like she gained exposure to both soft and hard skills necessary in the policy and advocacy field.
“During the workshop, a variety of different seminars were available to us, from career coaching to policy writing to mock policy meetings. These experiences were invaluable in offering me a chance to dive into some of the work in which I will actually be involved, yet in a safe space where everyone is a fellow learner. Not only that, but I was also able to observe how my colleagues navigated through the same experiences and could learn from the ways they approached each skill and situation we encountered.”
Dahyun also felt re-energized by what she heard from other leaders, which helped rekindle the fire inside of her.
“I was able to hear firsthand how every leader’s story is different. This opportunity opened my eyes to the different types of impact each of us can make, and I left feeling empowered to pursue my own journey for change. As I reflect upon the many intersections of my identity, I recognize that there are parts of my identity that have been historically and systemically underrepresented — thus calling me to be bold and step into this work in order to bring that voice to the table. We all are doing challenging work — being re-grounded and re-inspired in our collective vision for all students was the fresh air (and fuel) that I needed.”