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Cross Boundary Leader: Brianna Aloisio (MA EPFP 16-17)

Posted By National Coordinator, Monday, November 12, 2018
Updated: Friday, August 10, 2018

Brianna Aloisio (MA EPFP 16-17)
Policy and Government Affairs Manager | Stand for Children

Career Path & Education Policy
Brianna Aloisio is the Policy and Government Affairs Manager at Stand for Children Massachusetts.  Stand for Children advocates for better and equal education standards for all children. Their mission is to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, college or career training.  In her role, Brianna supports the policy team and works closely with Executive Director, Ranjini Govender. Brianna provides policy research, data analysis, and policy and legislative tracking of trends in the news. Additionally, she works to develop and maintain strong relationships with external partners and actively expands their network through government affairs outreach. 

Cross-Boundary Leadership Lessons
My experience at EPFP has shaped my knowledge and approach to leadership.  During that time, I learned that leadership is not always a definite format. Depending on my audience, my leadership style must adapt to effectively lead that group. Throughout EPFP, learning from leaders in various roles and levels illuminated the importance of leadership styles to me.  Knowing which leadership style is best to influence specific audiences has made me a stronger and sharper leader. 

Stand for Children includes both a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization called Stand for Children, and a 501(c)(3) training organization called Stand for Children Leadership Center. This duality makes working for Stand for Children a unique experience. I work with and for parents and use the information I acquire from the community to craft legislation that inspires and empowers.  At a local level, I work with my team to organize voices of supporters who are passionate about current issues facing education. Using these stories, Stand employs our legislative arm to advocate and negotiate laws to support the needs of the community.

While many topics surrounding education policy may seem straightforward, I find that there are still barriers that exist when trying to persuade policymakers to apply legislation that we are advocating for. Building trust is a priority at the ground level of education policy. 

The time I spend in the field learning about community needs and hearing personal accounts from the members takes trust. Many times people are reluctant to share their stories. Therefore, we must concentrate on building relationships with community members to facilitate an environment where they feel comfortable and confident in sharing their thoughts and opinions with us so that we can guide them to use their own voices to enact change. 

EPFP Experience and Value
My experience with EPFP has proved pivotal and important to my professional career. EPFP gave me the political framework to work in policy. I come from an education background; however, I have never taught or worked in a school setting full time. While in college, I volunteered with various organizations serving as a program leader, community liaison, co-teacher, and tutor which introduced me to many ways to serve in education. While in EPFP, I met people who worked at various levels in the education world. The connections made, and the conversations held during EPFP have given me a broader understanding of the successes and failures within the school system. Furthermore, EPFP gave me the training, network, and leadership experience I needed to move forward with my career. After my completion of EPFP, I moved into my current position as Policy and Government Affairs Manager. Having no prior official policy training, EPFP was a boost which advanced my knowledge and made me confident to advocate for my capacity to take on a policy role.

With regard to value, EPFP offers vital leadership experience and networking opportunities that I will continue to utilize. Often those who work in advocacy do their work unaccompanied and may lose sight of the network surrounding them working towards the same goals. EPFP gives like-minded individuals the opportunity to collaborate. This collaboration builds connections and expands networks, creating stronger players in their field. The program has also reassured me that there are people in the world working for the same objectives that I am. I foresee that EPFP will continue to be necessary and valuable program because the need for more information yields the need for further collaboration.  Accordingly, collaboration will give us the tools needed for advancing the state of education policy.


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