What We Do

Policy Project

The LEDA Policy Project seeks to train and position young leaders from underrepresented backgrounds to lend their voices to federal policy discussions pertaining to postsecondary education.

Thanks to a transformative investment from Lumina Foundation, LEDA has launched a new pilot program, the LEDA Policy Project, which seeks to train and position young leaders from underrepresented backgrounds to lend their voices to federal policy discussions pertaining to postsecondary education.

The LEDA Policy Project builds on LEDA’s mission of ensuring that diverse voices are at the table where decisions are made. Through this initiative, LEDA seeks to support Lumina Foundation’s goal to create a postsecondary system where the top priorities are completion of high-quality credentials, affordability, and closing equity gaps.


Opportunities to Partner and Engage

LEDA is seeking partners who can:

  • Incorporate the voice of LEDA Scholars at education policy events and convenings
  • Ensure that your organization’s work incorporates the student perspective in discussions about the creation and implementation of federal education policy solutions, especially related to college access, affordability, and completion
  • Engage the perspectives of LEDA Scholars on how to best support underrepresented students throughout higher education


2018-2019 LEDA Policy Corps

The LEDA Policy Corps are a group of LEDA Scholars who were selected through a competitive application process to participate in the Policy Project. The LEDA Policy Corps participated in a federal policy training to become well-versed on the federal policy process and equipped to discuss how federal education policies have impacted their communities and education. Policy Corps members represent LEDA at various events and convenings where education policy conversations occur.

Additionally, the LEDA Policy Corps has identified a set of key policy issues that impact LEDA Scholars and their communities. These issue areas are:

  • College access and completion for historically marginalized students
  • College affordability
  • Higher education data and transparency

To address these issues, the Policy Corps recommends that:

  • Higher education laws and policies should adapt to the needs of the changing demographic of college students and practices should include supports for historically marginalized students.
  • Efforts to improve college completion should include holistic and culturally competent supports.
  • Higher education institutions should be transparent in how they communicate the true cost of college and financial aid awards.
  • Higher education outcome data should be transparent, easily accessible, and disaggregated by race and income.

The following 18 Scholars represent the LEDA Policy Corps for the 2018-2019 term, which runs from August 1, 2018, through May 31, 2019.


University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill ’20
Kendrel Cabarrus
Cohort 11
John C

University of Kansas ’17
University of Arizona
John Castellaw
Cohort 8

Reed College ’18
Anneleissa Coen
Cohort 9

Washington University in St. Louis ’20
Hanna Ruth Durrell
Cohort 11

Occidental College ’18
Joscelyn Guzman
Cohort 9

Georgetown University ’20
Casey Hammond
Cohort 11

Harvard University ’15
Jacqueline Lin
Cohort 6

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill ’20
Sydney Mantell
Cohort 11

Wake Forest University ’13
Lomar Osbourne
Cohort 4

Yale University ’20
Albin Quan
Cohort 11

Barnard College ’20
Marissa Reyes
Cohort 10

Williams College ’19
Moises Roman Mendoza
Cohort 10

Harvard University ’17
Jasmin Salazar
Cohort 8

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ’11
Harvard Graduate School of Education ’15
Elizabeth Salinas
Cohort 2

Brown University ’17
University of Rhode Island ’19
Charlie Scott
Cohort 8
John T

Vassar College ’19
John Terwilliger
Cohort 10

Georgetown University ’19
Diego Tum-Monge
Cohort 10

Georgetown University ’14
University of Cambridge (UK) ’17
University of Michigan (Ph.D)
Aya Waller-Bey
Cohort 5

Please direct questions about the program and application to Amber Briggs at amberbriggs@ledascholars.org.

Gail Furman Fund

Make a donation to the Dr. Gail Furman Scholars Fund.

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