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MAEC Internship – Chi Ali-Cooper

Meet Chi Ali-Cooper, MAEC Communications Team Intern! We have been lucky to have a thriving internship program with dedicated, enthusiastic interns who share our passion for education equity. We recently sat down with Chi to learn more about her commitment to education equity and her highlights as an intern at MAEC.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi! My name is Chi Ali-Cooper. I graduated from Old Dominion University in 2017 with my BS in Sociology and I just graduated with my Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in Law and Public Policy from Liberty University. I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA and taught 11th grade U.S History about a year and a half in Homestead, FL. An end goal of mine is to be an African American studies professor at the collegiate level.

Why do you choose to work in education equity?

When I taught, I became aware of the disconnect between student and teacher as well as teacher and district. Seeing the misplaced funding at the high school I taught in, especially after coming from a well-funded high school and college, helped me to realize the true difference in genuine care for student success.

What does education equity mean to you?

To me, education equity means liberty from systemic oppression in the classroom as well as in the lives of Black and Brown students. Education equity to me looks like transparent language, content, and lesson plans that reveal and challenge historic biases. Education equity means education that is unbiased and unwavering in the reality of how our education systems have ignored community knowledge and decreased funding for years.

What do you do as an intern at MAEC?

As an intern at MAEC, I do so many great things! I support content development opportunities within MAEC through social media, webinars, publications, and blog posts. I pride myself in professional icebreaking as well as taking on projects that expand my experience in all things non-profit.

What has been a highlight of your experience at MAEC so far?

The highlight of my experience at MAEC has been the ability to exist as a Black and Hispanic woman who cares passionately about starting conversations that will create change. It’s very rare that someone is able to be their genuine self in a work place and not feel misplaced. From my woes to ideas outside of the box; I have felt heard, understood, and appreciated in my time here. I am forever indebted to MAEC for welcoming me and allowing me to grow as a professional and a person.

How do you see this internship factoring into your work after MAEC?

I see this internship factoring into my work after MAEC by way of finding opportunities that align with what MAEC has been able to do. I can say that I have found my purpose in life in education equity, and I plan to follow through with making changes where I can. I live by this quote: “You can’t change the world, but you can make a corner of it look good.” Thank you, MAEC and the Communications Team. Thank you for believing in my abilities, always, all ways.

The MAEC blog is designed to engage hearts and minds of school and district leaders across the country to engage in issues that you have identified as being essential in education. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

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