Introducing our new Associate, Ellie Sanchez!
Ellie’s dedication to improving education stems from her lived experience as a student in low-income public schools in Southern California. She credits her experience as an Upward Bound scholar with giving her the ability to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in English Literature and inspiring her to pursue a career in Education. After graduating from UCLA in 2014, Ellie wanted to dive deep into the public education world and moved to Boston to learn from one of the highly regarded public education systems in the country. She served as a corps member for City Year Boston and worked on literacy interventions with 5th grade students at an elementary school in Dorchester. After wrapping up her year of service, she worked as a teaching assistant at the Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury.
Seeing the inequities that persist in Boston Public Schools inspired Ellie to stay in the area and advocate for improvements at the policy level. She took on a role at Generation Citizen, a project-based civics education organization, where she partnered with school districts across the commonwealth to implement an action-based civics curriculum. She also helped pass legislation in 2018 that would require students to participate in a civics education course in 8th grade and in high school. Through this work, Ellie realized her passion for using policy and programmatic initiatives to make education equitable for low-income students of color. After five years at Generation Citizen, she decided to pursue her graduate degree in Education Policy and Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“I’ve been working to level out the educational field for students who have been marginalized and left behind by centuries of oppressive policies both within the realm of education and through other systemic injustices,” Ellie said. “I came to the Rennie Center to broaden my scope and work on the many issues that could change the game for students in the Commonwealth. This role will challenge me to figure out what piece of the puzzle I can take on next.”
Ellie is working on a number of Rennie Center projects right now including Open Opportunity Massachusetts—a cross-sector network of over 40 organizations that aims to transform our education system by tearing down the barriers that segregate students and their families by race and socioeconomic status—and Thriving Minds, an initiative aimed at helping schools build comprehensive mental health systems that can address the holistic needs of students.
“We are so fortunate to have Ellie on our team. Her experience both inside and outside the classroom and her dedication to making public education better for students in Massachusetts and across the country is a huge asset to the Rennie Center and to all the projects she will work on,” said Chad d’Entremont, Executive Director of the Rennie Center.
Outside of work, Ellie enjoys exploring New England and cheering on her favorite sports teams—the Patriots, Dodgers, and USWNT— with her partner and their puppy, Theo.