Background: Alyssa Schwenk is the director of development at Bellwether Education Partners. She leads fundraising strategy and funder relations to support work across Bellwether and deepen its capacity to impact the field at large, and supports the growth of the external relations team. Prior to joining Bellwether in 2018, she led external relations at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education reform think tank. She started her career as a Teach For America corps member teaching early elementary grades at a D.C. charter school. Originally from Iowa, Alyssa holds a bachelor’s degree in history and communications from the University of Pennsylvania and master’s degrees from George Washington University and George Mason University.
Why I do this work: Growing up in small-town Iowa and teaching in Washington, D.C., showed me the myriad ways in which access to a great education — and the opportunities it provides — is distributed unevenly across the country and deeply tied to historic, systemic issues and inequities. I believe that creating excellent schools and policies is the surest way to create a better tomorrow.