Grace Callahan

M.Ed ’18 | International Education Policy & Management

I graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in Secondary Education and Math. After college, I received a State Department Fulbright Grant to teach English in Malaysia for a year. This experience left me with a love of cross cultural work as well as many questions about inequities in education. Upon returning to the states, I taught math for a couple of years until I decided that I needed to work outside the classroom to try to address the growing number of questions and concerns I had about the quality of education around the world. Pursuing my Master’s degree at Vanderbilt has helped me to better understand the complexity of education systems and it has given me avenues for exploring innovative ways of addressing poverty and the inherent disparities that it creates.

The Turner Family Center, and Project Pyramid in particular, have influenced me the most in understanding how effective and efficient ways of addressing poverty are possible. Most of my experience with alleviating poverty and addressing inequities has been through schools or non-profit organizations, but the reliance on market driven forces and enterprise, central to the TFC mission, really excited me. Enterprise is not something I would typically be drawn to study, but, in this instance, it is a fascinating solution to a pervasive problem. It is able to address the sustainability problem that many non-profits face while giving power and independence to those it is trying to help. I was able to see this in clinics in Guatemala where local nurses were giving the highest quality care to their patients and offering services that otherwise would be inaccessible. I am so excited to have the opportunity to continue working with Project Pyramid and the TFC this year and to form partnerships with organizations that are doing this critical work.

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