During my Masters program, I was introduced to aligning workforce and economic development initiatives as an intern in DC. My internship position shaped my career to serve as a liaison between higher education and workforce development programs. The goal was to ensure that students receive degrees and certifications so they can improve their economic status. My work included providing career, academic, and job development services to underrepresented traditional students, social service recipients, and ESL students. I have partnered with local elected officials, as well as, local employers to organize job fairs, advocate for effective policies, and develop community educational programs. In addition to workforce development, I participated in workshops, proposals, and public policy hearings on revitalization projects that impact urban cities and development of art-business districts. Since my internship, I have learned to understand the importance in the alignment of workforce and economic development. At the same time, I learned became an advocate for increasing representation of STEAM careers, which include economic development and planning industries.
Currently, I am teaching career-readiness, political science, and student success to traditional college students. I intend to combine my political, career pathway, and economic development experience to collaborate with public and private partners. My goal is to work with stakeholders in producing a new generation of diverse, innovative, as well as, wealth-building professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs in STEAM careers. In other words, expand STEAM-based CTE curriculum, work-based learning, and mentor programs so that our youth and young adults can build knowledge, experience, and network. Most importantly, I intend to work with economic development professionals to increase representation in this field. At the same time, promote expansion of small businesses and cultural districts with the use of talent from underrepresented background.
I understand that a strong partnership between policymakers, practitioners, and constituents is critical in developing such programs. On one hand, practitioners are in the front-line in terms of working with population; but on the other hand, public policies impact the ability of creating, implementing, and paying for successful services. Most importantly, expand partnerships with employers and entrepreneurs so they can participate in these programs and decision making process. Although my work is located in the northeast, I am in the process of expanding in other parts of the country and internationally.
I earned a Bachelors in Business Administration from Georgia State University and a Masters of Public Administration from University of Baltimore.