Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Stephanie is a lifelong learner and is passionate about education. She received her bachelor’s in social work from Trinity Christian College. After graduating and working as a hospital case manager and elder abuse investigator for a year, Stephanie moved to Chicago and led a team of at-risk youth at an after-school program in the Austin neighborhood.
In Austin, she witnessed the inequality between under-resourced schools and those in more affluent areas. As she met with more than a dozen of her students’ teachers each month, she learned that not only did many students lack resources or were academically behind, but that teachers also felt a sense of powerlessness to get the necessary resources to meet their students’ needs.
After hearing countless stories from discouraged teachers, witnessing school closings, and watching students fall further behind each year, Stephanie joined the E4E team to support its vision of making sure teachers have a voice in education policy. She is excited to collaborate with teachers to ensure that their voices and input are valued. She draws inspiration from her great-grandmother, a teacher and community activist, who taught her the importance of creating social change through policy, education, and faith.
Stephanie is currently pursuing her master’s in divinity at Northern Seminary, with the goal of using her degree to positively impact, inspire, and empower hurting communities.
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