What led you to apply to EP?
I was looking for a career that was more fulfilling than my corporate experience at the time. After researching EP and meeting with staff members and Alumni at the National Black MBA conference in New Orleans, I knew EP was a great opportunity to launch my career in education.
What projects or initiatives did you undertake as a Fellow?
As a Fellow in Houston, I worked with Teach For America to validate inter-rater reliability between their observers at Institute and researched the factors that led to corps members leaving education either before or after their two year commitment. As a Fellow in Fort Worth, Texas, I worked with the Rainwater Foundation and alongside their partners to create a repository of early childhood resources in Fort Worth.
How did EP shape your leadership growth and/or professional trajectory?
EP gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in education and also provided a safety net to ask tough questions in a safe space. The summer programming exposed us to various organizations that were directly or indirectly supporting education organizations. Also, the network I’ve gained since being a part of EP led me to my current organization; it also helped me to introduce others—one of my best friends—to EP and my current organization.
What were some key learnings or takeaways from your Fellowship experience?
The takeaways from both experiences are the value of a strong network and not being afraid of failure. Through EP, I was able to land at Uplift Education and introduce my best friend to the organization who also landed at Uplift Education. Secondly, for both projects, I went in knowing nothing about the subject matter and at the end of my Fellowships, I could comfortably speak about my projects and the value of each.