Selam Gebre says a lifetime of experience has informed her desire to fight for educational equity through the Policy Advisor Fellowship (PAF). In college, she really began to understand how identity influences one's perspective on the world.
“I did a lot of work around understanding my identity and understanding how unjust access to opportunity really is. Education is where this lack of justice felt the most direct and urgent to me.”
As she thought about her frustrations in the classroom, she asked herself, “So, what am I going to do about it?”
Selam applied for the part-time PAF, where she built relationships with key education leaders and gained tangible experience while also working full-time. After only a few weeks working with the Donnell-Kay Foundation, they offered her a full-time job as an entrepreneur-in-residence.
Now, she spends her days working on their ReSchool Colorado initiative, where she engages with the community to rethink how to build the agency of students and families.
“Learning is fluid and happens everywhere. All of our experiences collectively contribute to how we each create meaning in life, how we develop our sense of self and how we navigate the world. It’s important that all young people and families have access to explore various learning opportunities both in and out of school.”
“I believe my role when it comes to combating educational equity is to show up and do the work. I bring my truth into all of the spaces I enter and engage with others to have the difficult conversations in order to drive educational equity forward. The Policy Advisor Fellowship helped me get into spaces to do this hard and important work.”