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Play your role in the fight for equity

  • Jessica Samuel

“Education is the foundation.”

Those were the words that Jessica Samuel’s grandmother used to say to her growing up. Her family always stressed that education was a valuable resource. But as she got older, she realized that educational access was different, especially for students who looked like her.

“Seeing all the tangible ways in which an equitable access to education mattered for black students ignited my commitment to education as a pursuit of social justice.”

Jessica spent a summer at the Massachusetts Department of Secondary & Elementary Education as a Policy & Advocacy Summer Fellow, where her research on education and race relations set a foundation for her next steps.

“Upon completing my summer fellowship, I was appointed by the Massachusetts commissioner of education to the Racial Imbalance Advisory Council. My work on this board will have profound implications for the quality and content of the education nearly one million students receive.”

Jessica is now pursuing a Ph.D. in American Studies, which is inspired by her work in the classroom. She sees her role as speaking “truth to power whether that manifests through the textbooks students use or the legislation that guides their day to day experiences with schooling.”

For her, educational equity is a space where the most underserved students and families are valued and able to determine the content and context of their education.

“When we, as an American society, realize that our collective triumph is contingent upon the individual victories of those most deprived among us, then will equity in education be realized. Everyone has a role in this work.”

If you’re ready to get hands-on experience in policy or advocacy by working with a high-impact host organization in a paid, full-time position for eight weeks over the summer, apply for the Policy & Advocacy Summer Fellowship.

Whether you’re interested in getting more involved from the classroom or pursuing a full-time policy or advocacy role, this fellowship will give you the tools to become a decision-maker and better understand the type of work that will help you achieve impact.

Apply by January 15 for priority consideration and first pick of placements. After January 15, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 15.