Office at DCPS: College and Career Programs
School and Major: Wellesley College, Political Science and Education minor
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Fun Fact: I studied abroad in Cordoba, Spain for a year
What projects have you been working on at DCPS?
Under the College and Career Programs team I am working on researching best practices for post-secondary planning and alumni engagement. I created a College and Career Checklist for 9th-12th grade students to take away any of the mystery of applying to apprenticeships or college. The checklist is also part of an effort to increase visibility on alternate pathways. I drafted a project proposal for alumni outreach in an effort to better track alumni and engage them in further activities. As part of the proposal, I created an Excel spreadsheet template that will house alum contact information and what they did after high school. The spreadsheet will help the College and Career team track alums. I have also been in contact with alumni engagement platform sites to create an alumni portal in which students will be able to network and find employment opportunities.
I was a part of the Post-Secondary planning committee team, in which we created a lesson plan to expose 9th-11th grade students to the different Career Pathways available to them, a Post-Secondary Planning Survey and Pathway Posters that will be distributed across schools starting the 2018-2019 academic school year.
Why did you want to intern at DCPS? What makes you excited about interning here?
I was the first in my family to go to college and education opened many doors for me. As a Latina with two immigrant parents born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, education was my only ticket out of a cycle of poverty that is so prevalent in my community. My own experiences made me passionate about education. Upon arriving to Wellesley College, I became aware of the systemic inequities in the education system. The classes I took in the Education Department at Wellesley gave me the language to talk about something I had experienced myself. I became committed to making sure every child has equal access to quality education.
I wanted to intern for DCPS because I wanted to learn more about education work at the district level. I had worked directly with students and children in the classroom and with non-profits, but I was interested in doing something different. As I think about my own career path, I want to make sure I have experiences in all the facets of education: classroom, district and policy level.
I was interested in doing work around college access and was excited to be a part of the College and Career team. DCPS is doing a lot of work to include more career pathways in students’ radar and I was excited to be a part of this district-wide change. In high school most students are told that they must go to college. There is so many resources available for students who want to pursue that pathway. But college is not the right fit for everyone and students do have other options. Currently there is not a lot of resources available for students who are looking to explore alternate pathways but, DCPS is working to make those resources available. I am excited to see this change!
Why do you want to work in the education field?
After working for the College and Career team here with DCPS I learned that a lot of work needs to be done in my city of Los Angeles. I want to work in my community to start promoting career pathways. The College and Career Team at DCPS is very committed to their students and making sure that they all pursue their dreams. I was very inspired to watch such a motivated group of individuals be so passionate and work hard for their students. This internship has only made me more passionate about education as I realize there is a lot of work to be done! I want to work with low-income students of color to make sure they know they have options and to support them in any way I can.