WILL ON EDUCATION
I know better than anyone that a high-quality education is the number one driver of a child's future prospects and opportunities in life. I came from a working class family in Vineland, NJ, where my mom and I struggled to make ends meet – and when a sickness led to my mom getting laid off from her job, we ended up homeless. It was only through the support of my teachers and coaches and my excellent public education that I was able to graduate with honors and get into Brown University. It is critical that no matter where a child lives or what circumstances they are born into, they have the same access to high-quality education that I did – even growing up in the poorest county of South Jersey.
As a former Corps Member with Teach for America and education policy advisor for Senator Cory Booker, I will bring a unique combination of educational insight that comes only from direct classroom experience, matched with the multidimensional skills and know-how to write and shape policy. My first-hand knowledge of the classroom proved invaluable throughout the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (formerly No Child Left Behind), among other key policy decisions that helped identify and bolster homeless and foster youth.
I will continue to advocate for policies such as the America’s College Promise Act, a bill I helped introduce in the U.S. Senate to provide free community college – creating an affordable pathway for students to attain a four-year degree in an increasingly competitive job market. It is essential that students of all ages that wish to use education to improve their circumstances have the ability to do so. Free community college provides that pathway, while stimulating the economy with skilled labor that will remain local and contribute to our communities.
From pre-kindergarten to college, children and young adults deserve an education system that works in their best interest to further their dreams. I will not rest until all students in South Jersey have the same access to educational opportunities and resources that I did.