From MCAN to NCAN: Meet Our New Graduate Policy Intern

September 7, 2017

By Shelbe Klebs, Graduate Policy Intern 

On my first day Sept. 6 as a graduate policy intern, I was inspired and overwhelmed by the incredible work done at the National College Access Network. As I continue to explore the areas of education policy and college access, I am excited to work with NCAN on various important policy initiatives.

I have been interested in the areas of education policy and college access ever since my undergraduate career. I became passionate about college access in particular when I realized how transformative the college experience was for me. Inspired by this, I went on to serve as a College Adviser with the Michigan College Access Network for two years.

I served in two small rural high schools in mid-Michigan and experienced firsthand the barriers that many students face when trying to achieve their college goals. The majority of my students were low-income, first-generation students who had no experience with the college-going process. They faced opportunity gaps, a lack of quality education, high tuition, and the reality of high debt. Working with them to overcome these barriers inspired and motivated me to approach these issues from a policy perspective and pursue a public policy degree.

I am eager to pair this internship experience with my new graduate career at George Washington University. I am currently a first-year candidate for a Master of Public Policy and am looking forward to learning about research, advocacy, and the area of education policy in a classroom setting while also gaining valuable hands on experience from an organization such as NCAN.

As a newcomer to Washington, D.C. and to NCAN, I am excited to meet NCAN’s members at the 2017 National Conference in San Diego on Sept. 11-13. I am proud to become a part of this national community focused on creating educational equity. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from the staff and members at NCAN and to learn about NCAN’s federal financial aid policy work. I will also use this time to explore my passion for education policy and for advocating for low-income, first-generation college-going students.

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