College and Early Adulthood

After her final year in high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, Amy enrolled at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Amy wanted to attend a small college—her proclivity toward community—in a large metropolitan area—her like proclivity toward diversity and progressive possibilities.  With strengths in cultural diversity, human rights and international engagement, Macalester was a great college home for Amy.  As in her K-12 schooling, Amy made deep lasting friendships at Macalester, as she found students of like moral persuasion in a college setting that fostered critical thinking and social responsibility.  At Macalester, she was an active participant in several international activities including the African Dance Ensemble (dancing and playing the flute), the annual International Roundtable and other international events that she could engage in like Latin Salsa Dancing.  As noted by a longtime college classmate, Amy had boundless energy and was always helping to organize and loved to participate.

Following graduation she traveled to Ghana and stayed with family of her Ensemble leader while experiencing their country and culture.  After her initial two months in Ghana, Amy began an eight month volunteer position at UNESO working on a number of projects in Ghana and experiencing life working with an international organization.  As with her earlier years, college life at Macalester and ten months in Ghana continued to prepare her for future work in human rights. 

Returning to her native Knoxville, Amy spent nearly two years working with social service and educational institutions, before entering an intensive graduate program in public administration and policy at the Maxwell’s School for Public Policy at Syracuse University.  Perhaps the most intense year of her life to that point, she found many deep and lasting friendships and mentors at Syracuse, and emerged with critical analytical tools and knowledge that were her final stepping stones to the kind of public policy positions she had worked so hard to attain.