Degree & graduation year: 2017 Master of Public Policy
What I do: I work at Safe Place for Youth, a drop-in center for homeless youth in Venice, California. We provide holistic, trauma-informed care to the youth who come through our doors. They are facing a range of challenges such as abuse, declining mental health, aging out of the foster care system, trauma, rising rent costs, and so much more. My role connects youth to housing through collaboration with other service providers in LA county.
The best part of my job: The best part of my job is being constantly inspired by the resilient youth we work with. We are with them through their lowest lows and highest highs. I’m also very fortunate to have such supportive, capable, and passionate coworkers.
A recent exciting work experience: Giving input to the Mayor's Innovation Team on a creative new idea to address homelessness with community members in Los Angeles.
How the School of Public Policy prepared me for my career: My education from SPP helped me develop professionally and get a better idea of what I want to pursue in my future. It also taught me a lot about how the nonprofit world operates, which has been useful in my current position and will continue to be throughout my career.
Advice to students considering a degree in public policy: Remember that public policy is a tool to help us understand our society. Don’t just take what you learn at face value—let it teach you how to combat racism, sexism, xenophobia, and transphobia and advocate for those around you.
Future plans: Continue to work towards ending youth homelessness in Los Angeles. I would also love to merge my work in social justice with gardening/farming.