Elisabeth Young

MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy

Elisabeth Young

Please describe why you chose NYU Wagner for graduate school?

I chose NYU Wagner because of its specializations, faculty, and network. At the time I applied, I wasn't sure I wanted to stay in New York and I knew that Wagner had a network that spanned the country and the world. The program allowed me to broaden my understanding of what Public Service could look like and exposed me to concrete skills in diverse areas.

Can you tell us a bit about your job responsibilities?

As Program Director I oversee the two programs MindCatcher Education offers. One program connects education leaders of color to an 11-month cohort experience tailored to leadership and wellness needs. We assist leaders in unpacking challenging problems in their industry that impact their ability to create generative learning spaces for youth. In addition, we explore their thought-processes and decision-making acumen to help them design new ways of thinking and working in education. The second program I oversee works with school communities to reimagine the student experience by shifting decision-making in education to youth. I facilitate a holistic approach to youth-led learning that grounds all facets of the school community–youth, educators, families–in mindsets and practices that support robust youth decision-making. 

Please describe how your experiences at NYU Wagner prepared you for your career?

Learning from real-life professionals was a great way to gain a deeper understanding of what work could look like in different settings. Wagner gave me the analytical skills I have needed to evaluate real-life problems through the many assignments designed to mirror challenges public servant professionals tackle everyday. The project-based learning and expectations around memo writing in all different courses provided me with skills that I have used to create programs in multiple contexts in the education nonprofit space.

Have you found any advantages to being a part of the NYU Wagner alumni network?

The Office of Career Services is a huge asset and advantage of being part of the NYU Wagner alumni network. I had no idea going into the program that I would have access to this resource for life. The folks in the office are so supportive and this network has really helped me have the confidence I needed to grow and develop my career.