State Policy Expert to National Advocate
My vision for my career has become increasingly clear over the past 14 years working for the State of California - specifically I aim to make a positive impact in the field of Education. To accomplish this, I must continue to gain experience and knowledge about early education programs to be able to promote within the ranks of the California Department of Education (CDE) from support staff to junior analyst, to senior analyst and eventually to Education Consultant. Upon reaching the Consultant classification at CDE, my goal is to laterally transition to an area of greater interest; specifically, I would like to assist in improving the quality of after school experiences for children. Lastly, I want to expand my reach in my interest area of recreational education by joining national organizations to become an advocate for positive youth developmental experiences for children in sport/recreational environments.
Goal 1: Education Consultant
The primary goal in my immediate future is to be appointed as an Education Consultant in early education public policy. I have taken steps towards this goal by fostering great relationships within the department, gaining knowledge and experience in public policy, fiscal analysis, grant preparation etc., and was offered a training and development assignment with a contract for appointment conditional on an excellent job performance review based on 18 months working as an Education Assistant, and the completion of my Master of Arts in Education. To become a competent consultant in public policy my primary focus will be to become more proficient in legislative bill analysis and how it impacts programs. To do this, I will have to become better versed in Education Code and Title V regulations and develop a comprehensive understanding of how current statute relates to legislative proposals. This knowledge base will enable me to suggest statutory changes to poorly written assembly and senate bills that aim to enact positive changes in early education child care programs for families from lower socioeconomic demographic groups.
Goal 2: Refocusing Career Fit
After reaching my goal of employment as an Education Consultant, I plan on transferring to focus on public policy in the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program area. My MAED is a blend of two concentration areas: P-12 School and Postsecondary Leadership and Sport Coaching and Leadership, and working in after school public policy would be an ideal landing spot for how I’ve focused my studies based on my interests. After school programs must consist of an educational and literacy element to help students meet state standards in either reading/language arts, mathematics, history and social studies, or science, and an educational enrichment element which includes youth development strategies, recreation and prevention activities. To be able to make a substantive impact in this area of focus I’ll need to devote research to California After School Physical Activity Guidelines to help contractors implement high-quality physical activity programs and the Program Plan Report for Grantees which will assist grantees in creating an operational design of an after school program within the framework of the requirements defined in statute, among other resources dedicated to after school policy initiatives.
Goal 3: Youth Sports Advocate
My third future goal in my vision quest to make an impact in the field of education is to become an advocate for youth sports on a national level, I will seek out advocacy opportunities in organizations intent on advancing positive youth development policies. This is a natural progression from working in the world of after school public policy, focused on how quality recreational play and organizational structure can positively impact education. The ability to speak out on important issues and contribute to legislation affecting fields and facilities, advocate for the protection and safety of our children, fight obesity, promote physical activity & fitness, and influence other important youth sports industry public policy concerns is as important as any goal I will ever undertake. To be able to make that impact, I will need to have a voice in an organization such as the National Alliance for Youth Sports and/or the National Council of Youth Sports. The Sport Coaching and Leadership graduate certificate curriculum I completed at Michigan State has helped raise my awareness about the issues concerning the socioemotional youth developmental needs in the field, and I can become a better advocate in this area by devoting additional time to research and watching videos that highlight why we need stronger guidelines and regulatory standards to promote best practices and produce consistent outcomes in the quality of our youth sport programs.