Sarah Brown is an Education Specialist at Center for Powerful Public Schools who hopes to inspire those that she works with by being present and available to them in order to encourage greater collaboration amongst public school educators.
“The hope is that being more invested in each school itself and by doing things that don’t necessarily fall into [your job description] will show teachers that you care and that they should care as well,” said Brown.
She received her bachelor’s degree in international development with a minor in African American studies from UCLA and went on to earn her master’s in anthropology and education from Columbia University in New York. She is currently finishing up her doctorate in urban schooling at UCLA.
“I think at my core I’ve always been an educator,” said Brown. “Even when I was attempting to or thinking of pursuing other careers, I would always end up tutoring or mentoring students, or writing about education in my classes. It wasn’t until college that I realized that my contribution to those that would come after me would be through education.”
At the Center, she works with four schools — Carson High School’s Global Business Law and Government Academy (GBLG), Manuel Arts School of Business (BEST), STEM Academy of Boyle Heights and Bancroft Middle School (STEAM Magnet program) — and integrates aspects of each school’s respective career theme in every class. She motivates both teachers and administrators to actively encourage higher investment in each theme as well.
While she doesn’t feel that her approach to education is necessarily unique, she is very passionate about the potential of the work that she does.
“I think the idea to make one’s learning relevant and grounded in real world experiences isn’t new,” said Brown. “I think our work has untapped potential a lot of times.”
Previously, she taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in education at UCLA, Pepperdine University and USC, and also served as a K-12 educator.
“The unpredictability [of my job] is the thing that I love, and it’s also the thing that can be quite challenging as well,” said Brown. “[I like] that each school operates as its own ecosystem, so [I’m] consistently trying to navigate through and find ways to impact them.”