Interns are an important part of our community here at Strategies for Children. They bring fresh eyes and new ideas, and they enable us to extend our reach in the work we do with communities and legislators.
Currently, we have four interns whom we’re happy to introduce: Vivian Terkel-Gat, Annapurna Ayyappan, Marisa Fear, and Casey Peeks. Here’s a little more about each of them.
I am currently a student in the Graduate Program of Gender, Policy, and Leadership at the University of Massachusetts Boston. I received a master’s degree in Educational Counseling for Early Education from Tel-Aviv University. In Israel, I worked for the Ministry of Education for 15 years as an educational counselor.
As a graduate intern with Strategies for Children, I research local governance models in different states. This research helps inform Strategies’ local Community Readiness initiative as well as its state-level advocacy and policy agenda for high-quality early education.
During my Strategies internship, I have learned about Massachusetts’ complex early education system. I have also learned about how advocacy works on the local and state level: how organizations form coalitions and work together to achieve mutual goals. Amy and Titus welcomed my participation in community meetings and at various events that Strategies has hosted. They also answered my many questions about early education and helped me choose a topic for a policy brief that I wrote. My internship has been an insightful experience.
I am a student in the Child Advocacy strand in the Human Development and Psychology program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. I chose the child advocacy strand because I see myself as an advocate for ensuring that marginalized communities have access to high-quality early childhood education and care. Before this, I worked as a teacher and a teacher trainer in the nonprofit sector in low-income communities in India. I have become a strong supporter of the way that innovative solutions such as community empowerment campaigns and private-public collaborative projects produce social change.
At Strategies, I am studying the landscape of special education in Massachusetts’ mixed-provider system of public and private preschool programs. What stands out for me about Strategies is that the organization not only builds the capacity of early childhood educators and advocates, but also develops communities’ “readiness” for implementing quality early learning programs. I am also learning about using data to inform practice and to monitor the efficacy of public policy. I hope to apply what I’ve learned at Strategies to my work supporting early childhood educators in India with developmentally appropriate resources and access to professional learning communities.
I’m a master’s student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education studying Human Development and Psychology with a concentration in Child Advocacy. In 2017, I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience.
I’m originally from the suburbs of Chicago and worked there as a preschool teacher before moving to Boston for graduate school. I hope to return to Illinois and work for an organization that specializes in early childhood education policy, research, and advocacy.
During my time at Strategies, I’ve learned a lot about the legislative process in Massachusetts, and I have been helping to prepare for staff meetings with new state legislators. In addition, I’m working with another intern to develop a policy and research project to expand SFC’s current knowledge base on special education in early childhood.
I am a master’s student and Saul Zaentz Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education where I’m getting my degree in Education Policy & Management. I received a bachelor’s degree in communication and political science from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from college, I joined Teach for America in St. Louis where I taught kindergarten for two years. After this, I returned to my hometown, Oakland, Calif., to teach kindergarten for an additional two years.
Since being at Strategies, I have reached out to various communities across the state to learn about their application process and advocacy efforts around preschool expansion grants. Through conversations with different early childhood leaders, I’ve learned about the barriers to increasing access to preschool and what could be possible for young children across Massachusetts if there was more funding.