As a former Chemistry teacher with Teach for America, I firmly believe access to quality, affordable education is critical to our democracy. The ability to succeed in our country often hinges on one’s ability to secure a quality education.   

I am working to initiate a national dialogue around what it means to obtain an “education.” There are many avenues to a quality education, especially through public schools and career and technical training programs. However, a student’s only option to obtain these opportunities should not destine them to a lifetime of debilitating debt. Instead, our young people should graduate with the knowledge necessary to provide access to careers of the 21st century. 

As an engineer, I am passionate about STEM and STEAM training. In my engineering major at my alma mater, there were only 10 women. Nearly 30 years later my daughter graduated with the same major, from that same school, and there were still only 10 women. Increasing the number of women and people of color in STEM and STEAM educational settings is fundamental to innovation.  

In May, I had the privilege of visiting the 4th grade class from Wyomissing Hills Elementary Center to join in on a hands-on science workshop hosted by the S.P.A.R.K.S Foundation. I am proud to support educational programs like these that are actively engaging and preparing the next-generation of thinkers. It is vitally important to instill a passion for lifelong, collaborative learning in our community. 

In Congress, I am championing policies that promote educational opportunities – from early learning programs to adult literacy programs – for all Americans. I am focusing on increasing access, paying our public-school teachers living wages, and investing in America’s future.