Policy Analyst (Parenting Students)
Maya Valree (she/her(s)) joins The Education Trust–West as a Policy Analyst (Parenting Students). Before joining The Education Trust–West, Maya was the graduate student coordinator for the Students with Dependents program at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she engaged campus and community stakeholders to increase programming and institutional support for pregnant and parenting students. As the graduate student coordinator, Maya initiated the expansion of the children’s center community garden, which enhanced access to fresh produce and reintroduced garden-based learning for the youngest learners on Cal Poly’s campus. Maya also strategized ways to leverage low-cost and high-impact campus resources to strengthen the children’s center curriculum, including advocating for opportunities for children to practice Cal Poly’s learn-by-doing motto. During her graduate studies, Maya also worked as a research assistant on Dr. Tina Cheuk’s #StudentParentJoy campaign, a media and policy research program redefining what it means to be a pregnant and/or parenting student within the California State University system. In addition to personal experience as a parenting student of color, Maya comes to The Education Trust–West grounded in knowing that women of color and those with multiple marginalized identities often parent while in school, an important reminder that the work is racialized and gendered.
Maya is a proud product of three of California’s higher education systems. She earned an A.A. in Public Policy from Santa Monica College, a B.A. from the University of California, Irvine, and a M.S. in Higher Education Counseling & Student Affairs from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.