Thursday, May 09, 2019

Alumna Monica Rodriguez becomes Detroit’s Director of Children and Youth

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Educational Studies alumna Monica Rodriguez has been named the City of Detroit’s Director of Children and Youth. In this newly created position, she will focus exclusively on children, expanding the city’s ability to shape education policy.

Rodriguez sees her new role as bringing Detroit’s schools, nonprofits, and foundations together to work with local children. She defines herself as a communicator who will help Detroit’s education sector work more smoothly. She graduated from the SOE with a master’s degree in 2013.

Prior to accepting her new position, Rodriguez worked for six years on the Detroit Promise, a college scholarship program offered to high schoolers in the city. Her job, as she puts it, was to build participation in the program by figuring out “the true experiences that students are having.” Her efforts helped to double the second year retention rates among scholarship earners in local two-year college programs.

About her new role, she said, “I would hope that the city’s exchange is really honest and open and collaborative, and that there are a lot fewer walls around who does what and who shares what.” She added, “And that we’re as helpful as possible to all of the entities that are doing this work.”

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