Through the John Glenn College of Public Affairs High School Internship Program I was able to be placed in an internship with a local nonprofit and enroll in Intro to Public Affairs 2110 through the Ohio State Academy. Below you will find an essay written for the public affairs course. We were tasked with researching any policy problem that was of interest to us and developing and comparing three potential solutions to the problem. I chose to research access to affordable and quality child care in our state.
The importance of the early years, specifically birth through five, is a topic I am particularly passionate about. Advances in technology and a growing need for change sparked much inquiry and innovation in the field of early childhood over the last few decades. Research has consistently shown how crucial early experiences are in effecting success and health later in life. However, despite the demonstrated importance, there is still a significant gap between research and practice. It is this gap that fuels my desire to advocate for developmentally appropriate practice in the early years.
Focusing specifically on Ohio’s affordable quality child care shortage was motivated by my participation in the Columbus Women’s Commission benefits cliff discussions regarding publicly funded child care. As my internship supervisor, Dr. Gina Ginn, is a commissioner, I was privileged to attend the meetings with her and an interdisciplinary team of other community advocates including representatives from Columbus Legal Aide, the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, Future Ready Columbus, and the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio.
Addressing the Lack of Quality Child Care for Infants and Toddlers in Ohio
My Fall 2018 John Glenn College of Public Affairs HSIP Cohort + Our Wonderful PUBAFRS 2110 Instructor, Aiden Irish
I am committed to improving my leadership skills for the betterment of my personal wellness, professional development, and community. I believe that strong leadership skills are built on a foundation of self-awareness and self-reflection. My leadership improvement practice is grounded in strengthening my understanding of my self and my world. Below are my goals regarding leadership development for my first two years:
- Become a mentor in my scholars program
- Hold an executive position in a student organization
As an Advocates for Communities and Education Scholar (ACES), I have made a commitment to serving my community. ACES provides me with many opportunities to complete service within my Ohio State and Columbus community as well as educate me about what effective service looks like. In addition to completing service work though my scholars program, it is my goal to pursue my passion for defending developmentally appropriate practice in the early years through direct service and advocacy. Below are my goals regarding service engagement for my first year:
- Establish a relationship with a community organization where I can volunteer twice a month
- Contact my legislator monthly
- Become active in 3 student organizations, at least one professional and one service based
A recent Saturday morning spent volunteering at NNEMAP Food Pantry, located just a mile off campus – I’ve been driving by NNEMAP on my way to Gateway Film Center for years and never knew about the wonderful work they do!