Gayblack Canadian Man

Foreign Policy Analysis
How my Master of Public Policy degree at Pepperdine prepared me for work in education policy

How my Master of Public Policy degree at Pepperdine prepared me for work in education policy

(optimistic music) – It was while I was in college that I had the experience
that channeled my energy and my passion for the education system. We went downtown to volunteer on Skid Row. There was one resident in particular who caught my eye and
it was this little girl who was about six months old and the little girl was
crawling on the sidewalk and I just remember looking at her and thinking she has no
idea what she’s up against. Everything sort of culminated and this idea that education
really is the only answer if nothing else changes in your family. If your parents don’t have
the resources or tools. You have a chance if you
can get a good education, and so I decided that I
would become a teacher. I would learn about this
system we call education and one day I’d open this
school for kids like her. The name of our school is Crete Academy, and we got the name, it’s a Greek word. Crete means to create and
our philosophy and belief is that students can come to us and take a hold of the resources and supports that we provide and we serve children who
are in South Los Angeles. Ages TK through 6th grade which is about four years old to 12 and we provide a college prep program, and also a wellness program that provides wrap around services so it’s really an integrated school where we’re looking at the whole family, the whole child, and focusing
on their emotional wellbeing as well as their academics. Pepperdine School of Public Policy aligned with my core values and that was what was most important. I specifically wanted to be there because of their focus, the
school’s focus as a whole, but specifically the School
of Public Policy’s focus on really taking what
you learn in the program and applying it to improve society. I wanna change this community and if we can invest in our 126 kids and send them off to never be
in this poverty cycle again, we’ve done our job. The 30, 40 year goal is to
work on education policy, and it’s to start at the micro level and expand to the macro level. The only degree that was
able to do that in my opinion was the public policy degree. I looked at MPAs. I looked at MBAs. There wasn’t enough about
the inner workings of soceity in either of those other degrees, but with the public policy degree, not only was I learning the analytical and the research side, I was
also learning about society and how things work and how people work. I think a public policy
degree is important no matter what you do. You have to understand the
system that you’re working with and that’s when you can get
at some of the major issues that we see everyday and
I think without that, you can’t really do anything. You can’t really make change. I’m grateful for Pepperdine. I’m grateful for the people that Pepperdine has afforded me the opportunity to work with
and plan this school with and to prepare for the next 20 years and really tackling this issue of poverty. Eventually I wanna be old and gray writing policies for
children who are low income and homeless as it relates to eduction and for sure working with the kids who are in the most devastating situations. To make sure that they can dream. (optimistic music)

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