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Robin Pulliam: Changing policy to support families

  • Robin Pulliam

Robin Pulliam saw the difference her private high school education made compared to her neighborhood friends who went to the local public school. While they grew up in the same zip code, her mom’s choice to send her to a different school gave her access to more opportunities. When she got to college and saw the lack of diversity on campus, she decided she needed to change the policies that were affecting education.

But after doing a policy internship where she saw people who had no interaction with public schools making decisions that changed the lives of people like her friends from home, she knew she had to make a very important stop before starting her career in policy: the classroom.

She spent four years teaching through Teach For America (TFA), and another two years on TFA staff, before deciding to go back to school. It was then that she participated in the Policy & Advocacy Summer Fellowship at the San Antonio Education Partnership, where she “was able to see the different type of work being done in the education landscape that I lived in.”

She also went on to participate in the Policy Advisor Fellowship and the Women’s Political Leadership Program.

“Through my Policy Advisor Fellowship, I was able to see what I could potentially do in the future, and it helped me start to seriously envision the type of work I wanted to be involved in.”

For Robin, this work is about finding the best ways to allow schools to act as a communal space where everyone feels supported.

“The question we need to be asking is how do we provide the right resources to families so that they feel they can support their children through their education. We need community schools that provide wraparound services. Schools should be the hub of the community in an ideal way. Too often schools are part of the community but don’t drive engagement and it’s a huge missed opportunity.”