By Jennifer Chin, November 10, 2020
We are proud to announce the new 2020-2021 Education Pioneers Impact Fellowship cohort -- a group of 23 rising problem solvers, data analysts, and strategic thinkers who aspire to make a difference for kids and communities. They join EP’s existing network of 4,500+ leaders who work outside the classroom to enable student and teacher success inside the classroom.
Impact Fellows have begun their 10-month work placements at our Partner organizations, including school systems, education agencies, and supporting nonprofits. They also recently began their leadership development programming -- learning experiences designed to expand their knowledge and cultivate the skills, mindsets, and orientations needed to lead with an equity mindset.
A Diverse Class of 23 Rising Leaders
Recognizing the importance of education leaders who reflect the communities we serve, EP has long been committed to recruiting a diverse Fellowship class. With 43% of Fellows identifying as Black or Latinx -- 20% more than last year -- this cohort stands out for its racial diversity.
Fellows also bring diversity in professional experience: this year’s cohort includes former management consultants, financial analysts, corporate lawyers, classroom teachers, nonprofit program managers, and more. Though their backgrounds may vary, all Impact Fellows join Education Pioneers committed to our collective mission of education equity.
Nationwide Impact for K-12 Organizations
We’re pleased to have 20 Partners across the nation hosting Impact Fellows this year, ranging from school operating organizations to federal education agencies to community-based supporting nonprofits. Example Partners include:
Impact Fellows will leverage their proven experience in data analytics, strategic project management, and more in order to advance a critical initiative on behalf of their Partner organization and its stakeholders. Many initiatives have taken on increased importance as Partners adjust and pivot due to the continuing pandemic. Here are just a few examples:
Ednah Nwafor is serving as a research associate at CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) in Chicago, designing, testing, and implementing practices that advance social emotional learning in service of equity.
Nathan Mechtel will build out data systems and drive reporting, analysis, and continuous improvement for Great Public Schools Now, an organization focused on growing quality seats in Los Angeles’ neediest neighborhoods.
Karla Conrad is enabling Memphis-based Code Crew to better understand the existing impact of its computer science programs -- and ultimately improve how it serves its stakeholders, especially students of color.
Andrew Allen is providing critical analytical support to Kansas City’s Ewing Marion Kauffman School -- collecting and analyzing data about student performance and school culture to drive instruction and virtual school operations amidst COVID.
Katherine Hendrickson will serve as Caliber Schools’ project manager in the Bay Area to advance a proposed merger with another charter school -- leading activities ranging from due diligence to communications so Caliber can meet community needs and expand its reach.
Oliver Quintero is serving as a senior analyst at Fidelity Foundation, helping increase the impact and efficacy of education and capacity-building grantmaking for the Boston-based philanthropy organization.
For the full list of 2020-2021 Impact Fellows and the Partners for whom they’re working, click here.
Ongoing Leadership Development for Current Context
Alongside their placements, Impact Fellows participate in leadership development programming throughout their EP experiences -- helping develop the mindset, skills, and orientations for them to succeed in their near-term work and accelerate their long-term impact.
As a cohort, Fellows will build a culture of collaboration and support as they deepen their understanding of K-12’s history and current context. This year’s curriculum will also focus on project management, systems thinking, people-centered practices, and inclusive leadership -- pillars that can help Impact Fellows navigate complex times marked by the pandemic, political division, and a national public reckoning for racial justice.
The programming experience will include virtual “convenings” to bring the full cohort together, smaller peer learning communities to facilitate problem solving, ongoing mentorship from EP Alumni, and more.
Fellows’ learning began in October with community building and orientation. Their journey will continue throughout the next 10 months, over which they’ll join other EP Fellows (such as our upcoming COVID Response Fellowship cohort) to strengthen their learning and networking.
We wish our Impact Fellows a tremendous year!
Interested in becoming a future Impact Fellow? Join our Impact Fellowship mailing list >>
Interested in hosting a future Impact Fellow? Email firstname.lastname@example.org >>
2020-2021 Education Pioneers Impact Fellows:
- Aarushi Prabhakar, The Drexel Fund
- Allison Wisialowski, Attuned Education Partners
- Andrew Allen, Ewing Marion Kauffman School
- Cameron McGriff, KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools
- Camille Greer, WEPOWER
- Cherish Harris, DSST Public Schools
- Ednah Nwafor, CASEL
- Erin Daily, Character Lab
- Eustace Evan Goh, RePublic Charter Schools
- Haley Mathews, ALLMemphis
- Jashawnna Gladney, Equity Now, Inc.
- Jasmine Ferguson, Rocketship Public Schools
- Karla Conrad, CodeCrew
- Katherine Hendrickson, Caliber Schools
- Kennidy Asche, The New Teacher Center
- Kristina Moss Gunnarsdottir, The U.S. Department of Education
- Melissa Wylen, WestEd
- Michael Ham, The U.S. Department of Education
- Nathan Mechtel, Great Public Schools Now
- Olga Ortuzar, Clayton Early Learning
- Oliver Quintero, Fidelity Foundation
- Sara Germano, Clayton Early Learning
- Sean Caulfield, The U.S. Department of Education
Thank you to our Alumni Mentors:
- Julienne Ng (2018 Alum)
- Imran Khan (2011 Alum)
- Michellea Millis (2010 Alum)
- Jameelah Stuckey (2019 Alum)