Monday, June 14, 2010

Education Pioneers Fellowship: Day 1

I believe an MBA can be a powerful tool for impacting a community and affecting change. When I applied to Marshall, I had a pretty clear vision of how I might do this in a way related to a couple of my lifelong passions, including education. Throughout my first year, I took advantage of every opportunity to build the right skill set, develop as a leader, gain relevant experience and start brainstorming feasible business plans.

I had a long term plan, but when it came time to make a decision about my summer plans, I found myself at a loss. I had no idea where to begin. I soon found Education Pioneers, and realized this would be the perfect first step. My summer fellowship will help me make the transition from financial services to education – and eventually to my long term plans - by surrounding me with the right people, the right resources and invaluable opportunities.

Education Pioneers is a national human capital organization founded in 2003 by Scott Morgan. The organization is focused on urban education reform and addresses this issue by building a pipeline of talent from graduate programs such as business, law, education, policy and a variety of other disciplines. Graduate students are recruited as fellows for a 10-week internship which includes weekly workshops in addition to a project with a partner organization such as a school district, charter organization or foundation.

Currently, Education Pioneers operates in seven urban cities. This summer, there are 290 fellows from 111 graduate school programs at 66 universities. I am a proud member of this summer’s Los Angeles cohort, which includes 42 fellows from around the country. We are working with 15 different partner organizations, including LAUSD, PUC Schools, ICEF (Inner City Education Foundation) Public Schools, Teach for America and the Broad Foundation.

I will be working with ICEF Public Schools, a charter management organization which manages 15 charter schools in South Los Angeles. ICEF was founded in 1994 by Michael Piscal in order to transform South LA into an economically vibrant community. My project is to evaluate ICEF’s position within its community in order to recommend a strategic marketing/communication plan.

Today we kicked off the summer with a Foundations workshop for the LA cohort, and tomorrow is my first day at ICEF. Stay tuned!


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