NYU Wagner Team a Winner in National Invitational Public Policy Challenge

 Alvin Irby, Tyeshia Smith, James Leyba, Sherese Ward

NYU Wagner has done it again! A team of Wagner students has won a $5,000 award as a finalist at the 2015 National Invitational Public Policy Challenge hosted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government—extending Wagner's record of outstanding accomplishment at the annual competition.

Team Wagner, one of 11 schools from across the country to compete in the National Invitational on March 21-22, received many kudos from the judges for its extremely innovative and well-formulated Barbershop Books project, a program to reduce the reading achievement gap among black boys by creating child-friendly reading spaces within community barbershops.

NYU Wagner team members Alvin Irby (MPA 2015), James Leyba (MUP 2015), Tyeshia Smith (MPA 2015), and Sherese A. Ward (MPA 2015) will be able to use the award to further the project. The team also received invitations to speak FELS 2015 nationally about Barbershop Books and to write  an article for Governing magazine, one of the  sponsors of the Challenge.

 At this year’s round-robin competitions, the  distinguished panel of 15 judges included Grace  Boone (MPA 2015), a member of last spring's  National Invitational winning team from NYU  Wagner, whose project was “Latch.”

The three additional 2015 finalists included Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Georgia. The winning prize of $10,000 was awarded to UGeorgia for its project to deliver feminine hygiene products to homeless women.

In the four annual Fels national challenges held so far, NYU Wagner has proven itself a force to be reckoned with, with its teams capturing four finalist berths and two championships overall.

Congrats to Barbershop Books!