Nelson Mandela once said that “Education is the most powerful tool that you can use to change the world.” Having access to a public education gave me a chance to think about how I too, like Mandela, can change the world.
My name is MyKaila, and I am the Policy Analyst for Stand for Children Washington. I’m also a first-generation college student in my final year at University of Washington, and a Gates Millenium Scholar (which means I earned a scholarship that will cover all tuition-related costs from my undergraduate through my doctoral degree). I moved from Tacoma, WA to Seattle after high school to study journalism. I’m working at Stand during my last year of college because I connect with our mission and work to improve student outcomes, especially in low-income communities.
In just a few months I will be graduating and pursuing my dream of becoming a writer. I will be moving to Poland to lead a research project while enrolled in a masters journalism program. As I close one chapter and begin a new one, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on what went well and what didn’t go so well in my K-12 experience and in college.
One thing that I remember most about school was really challenging myself to dream and consider the possibility of things. My passion and deepest desire is to be a writer. At my core, I’m driven by the opportunity reach others and educate them about the possibilities we have. As the Policy Analyst for Stand, I’m able to use my love for journalism and research to help create policy that has the potential to impact students today. As a relatively recent graduate of Washington public schools, I’m also on the ground in schools, raising up student voices (the name of this blog series) to show what change looks like in reality.
Over the next few months I will be writing about what policies and programs are working in Washington schools, improving student success, and inspiring young people in the community. I look forward to taking you on this journey with me.