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Using policy to drive change

Rita Zota grew up believing education was the key to breaking generational cycles like poverty. Her dad became a doctor and was able to move their family from India to the United States. But when she spent time in the classroom, she saw how difficult it was for educators to focus on what they were there to do: teach.

“I pursued a master’s in public policy so that I could change policy. It is because of my teaching experience and it defines what I want to do in my life. Through Teach For America and public policy school, it became clear that education for me is key to breaking the poverty cycle. I think that education is a way out if we dedicate the resources to the right policies, principles, and practices. I want to be in government because I know we can drive those changes.”

To help lead her next steps, Rita participated in the LEE Public Leaders Fellowship (LPLF). But instead of just coming up with a concrete plan for where her career path was going, she gained the opportunity to unpack more about herself.

“I began a personal journey of understanding my identity better and recognizing for the first time my own internalized oppression, identified some key competencies I'd like to build to help me become a better leader, and a network of people who I truly believe will support me in my path toward realizing my vision for impact.”

Rita learned more about her strengths and areas for growth through an informative 360-degree review.

“LPLF will push you to reflect in ways that you may not have done before.  It will allow you to really hone in on what you love to do, what gives you energy and how that will help you in the fight for educational equity.”

If you’re an experienced leader interested in moving into a new senior level-role in organizing, policy, advocacy, or politics in the next one to three years, apply for the LEE Public Leaders Fellowship today.