Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas
Current City: Washington, DC
Why did you choose McCourt? When searching for the public policy program I wanted to be a part of, I wanted to focus on developing my quantitative skills. During my time at my undergraduate institution, I was able to develop my qualitative skills and use them in my career, but I wanted to develop quantitative skills that could appear to a larger audience while equipping myself with the necessary tools to understand the quantitative side of policy. The McCourt School of Public Policy is a premier program with outstanding research professors and there was no other institution as developed, thoughtfully curated, and intentional in my areas of interest.
What professional/ work experience did you have prior to coming to McCourt? Prior to coming to McCourt I worked as a project manager at a nonprofit organization in Memphis, Tennessee. I focused primarily on providing and sustaining accessibility to resources for the immigrant community, in partnership with local community organizations, government entities, and other community stakeholders. In this role I oversaw all COVID-19 efforts including organizing community wide vaccination & testing events, wrote grants to sustaining these efforts, and worked with local officials to address any disparities in access and utilization of county and city resources.
What has been the best part of your experience so far? I am a member of the Policy Innovation Lab and have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this lab. Focused on addressing systemic issues in the District of Columbia, specifically in wards 7 & 8, my team focuses on addressing criminalization of emerging youth ages 18 to 24. It has been an honor to serve on this team and learn so much about the DC community, what important conversations are happening, and learning how we can be a better neighbor and understand the challenges of many communities in the District.
Student organization involvement while at McCourt: I am involved with Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) and Black Perspectives in Public Policy (BPoPP)
Undergraduate University, degree, and major: University of Memphis, Degrees: English & African American Studies; Minors: Spanish & Sociology
Hobbies/ Interests: I am interested in mediation (as an extension of the work in public policy), I am interested in local politics and the stakeholders, voting rights
Reach out to me about: Moving to DC, first generation student (undergraduate & graduate), being a student after taking a few years off to work, attending the program with little to no quantitative background, navigating student loans