In the classroom, Stephanie Perez-Carrillo (TFA South Carolina ’14) learned about the harsh realities of inequity in the education system. When she heard from one of her students that she didn’t think she could go to college because of her documentation status, Stephanie knew she had to have a part in making state policy that would give all students a fair chance.
So many students are directly impacted by discriminatory state policies that exclude them from some of the very same opportunities I was afforded. It just didn’t seem fair that I had the chance to obtain a degree while some of my students were being robbed of theirs. It was then that I discovered what role I wanted to play on behalf of the communities I represent. I knew I had to be involved with state policy.
Fortuitously, Stephanie also got involved with LEE around the time when she was figuring out how to make the transition from the classroom to state-level policy leadership.The experience of participating in a LEE fellowship, paired with impactful coaching from LEE, helped her land her current role at the Colorado Children’s Campaign as a policy analyst. In her role, Stephanie is educating others about state education policy and inspiring them to add their voice to the movement to end inequity. Of her work, Stephanie says:
One of my favorite projects thus far has been working with my team to bring together a cohort of parents to learn the ins and outs of advocacy at the state level, specifically in K-12 education. I’ve also learned a lot about the bill tracking process and how we disseminate that information to our statewide partners. It’s been really exciting to see everything come together in the different coalitions and stakeholder groups I’m a part of.
LEE’s Emerging Equity Leaders Fellowship is specifically designed to support members like Stephanie who are exploring ways to take their careers in policy, advocacy and organizing to the next level. This fellowship is an opportunity specifically for members of color with entry-level experience in policy, advocacy and organizing to gain concrete skills and experience to move into mid-level roles within the next one to two years.
By working closely with a coach, attending two national workshops, and completing a capstone project that will help Fellows build their network and achieve tangible results for students, EEL Fellows will clarify their professional goals and be better prepared to take on a new or expanded role.
The Emerging Equity Leaders Fellowship is currently accepting applications. Learn more and apply now.