First-Year Social Action Project
As a member of the AU School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, I worked as part of a team studying economic inequality and the cycle of poverty. In doing so, we targeted the quality of public education as a critical factor in either breaking or reinforcing this cycle. We then focused on inequalities in the local DC Public School system, finding huge disparities in test scores and graduation rates across schools in areas of differing socioeconomic status. The research phase culminated in a policy memo and a presentation at the SPA Leadership Symposium.
In the spring semester, we sought to address this issue through a hands-on social action project. As a result, we founded a campus organization called the Program for the Assistance of Local Schools, or PALS, to raise awareness of the issue and serve as a network for connecting resources and volunteers on campus with public schools that need them.
Second-Year Social Action Project
In my second year in the program, I decided to explore a new issue: low civic engagement among youth in America and the role of technology in promoting participation in the political system. To address the issue, I created a YouTube channel called Civics Made Easy that aims to create short, educational videos on overlooked and misunderstood topics in civics. As of 2018, I hope to restart the channel as a side project after graduation!
Role as a First-Year Teaching Assistant
After having such a positive experience in the Leadership Program during my first year, I knew that I wanted to give back to the program and facilitate that experience for others as a Teaching Assistant for a class of 52 first year students. My role included mentoring a small issue-based group of students and guiding them through the process of identifying a social problem, researching it, compiling the results, and creating a solution to the problem.