What We Do

Policy Project

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

LEDA launched the LEDA Policy Project in 2017 thanks to a transformative investment from Lumina Foundation. The Policy Project trains and positions young leaders from underrepresented backgrounds to lend their voices to federal policy discussions pertaining to postsecondary education.

LEDA Policy Corps

The LEDA Policy Corps is comprised of LEDA Scholars and Career Fellows selected through a competitive application process to participate in the Policy Project. In its inaugural year, Corps members participated in an in-depth training on advocacy and federal education policy in Washington, D.C., and participated in 13 prestigious national conferences, including the 2018 Southern Education Foundation’s Annual Issues Forum and SXSW EDU 2019. They also wrote op-eds that were published in numerous education policy blogs and websites, including:

Additionally, the LEDA Policy Corps has identified a set of key policy issues that affect students from historically marginalized communities. These issue areas are:

  • Higher education data and transparency
  • Higher education access, affordability, and completion

To address these issues, the Policy Corps recommends that:

  • Higher education laws and policies proactively adapt to the needs of the changing demographics of college students, with a specific focus on equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Higher education institutions and related postsecondary programs should provide holistic and culturally services that address mental, financial, socioemotional, and academic needs for historically marginalized students. These might include:
    • Opportunities to help students transition to college(e.g. summer bridge programs)
    • Support for basic needs including affordable housing, access to healthy and affordable food options, and emergency grants for unanticipated expenses
    • Proactive advising that follows and opt-out model instead of opt-in
    • A community that supports health and wellness
  • Higher education programs and institutions should be transparent in how they report data and information, ensuring that it is presented in a way that is transparent, easily accessible, and disaggregated by race, income, first generation status, class year and program. Reported information should include:
    • The true cost of attendance,
    • The resources that are available to students,
    • Diversity of students and faculty,
    • History of the college,
    • Financial aid offers,
    • Graduate salaries, and
    • Loan repayment information

The following 15 Scholars and Fellows represent the LEDA Policy Corps for the 2019-2020 term, which runs from August 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020.


Harvard University ’22
Abel Berhan

Bryn Mawr College ’18
University of Missouri – St. Louis ’20
Abbygail Brewster

Princeton University ’21
Jessica Cobian

Bard College ’20
Getzamany Correa

University of Notre Dame ’21
Willian De Faria

Harvard University ’22
Jessica Dias-Jayasinghe

Tufts University ’21
Carolina Espinal

Pomona College ’20
Jorden Favors

University of California, Berkeley ’21
Luis Gallardo

Brown University ’22
Heidy Mejia-Puerta

Georgetown University ’22
Martin Moreno

University of Richmond ’21
Mysia Perry

Wesleyan University ’20
Anthony Price

University of California, Berkeley ’20
María Romo-González

University of Richmond ’21
William Walker

Selected Press and Media (2019-2020)

Please direct questions about the program to Amber Briggs, Project Director, at amberbriggs@ledascholars.org.

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