Kara Mitchell

2016 SELI Summer Fellow
Texas Appleseed
Austin, Texas

Kara Mitchell is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is working to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Public Policy and a minor in Social and Economic Justice. Prior to SELI, Kara served as an intern for the Historically Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, a math instructor for the Mathnasium of Durham-Chapel Hill, a policy research assistant for the University of North Carolina Public Policy Department, and a peer tutor at the University's Learning Center. She has also served as a teaching assistant in the Economics Department and is the Co-President of the Carolina Economics Club.

This summer, Kara is interning with Texas Appleseed based in Austin, Texas that works for justice for underrepresented Texans--including children, low income families, and those with disabilities. She will research how the school-to-prison pipeline is impacting students in Texas this summer and strategies for improving discipline policies and practices.

"Most of my research and policy writings have been concerning the achievement gap in North Carolina public schools, early childhood education, the racial bias of standardized testing, and the school-to-prison pipeline.  Through my Public Policy department, I have been able to conduct quantitative research on policies that have been used as alternatives to the zero-tolerance polices that currently harm and criminalize Black students, Latinx students, LGBTQ students, low-SES students, and students with disabilities. 

In addition to my classes, I work as a math instructor at Mathnasium, where I tutor k-12 students in math.  Also, as a member of Black Student Movement, I volunteer as a tutor and mentor in Chapel Hill-Carrboro public schools.  Many of the students I tutor in the public school where I volunteer are Black or Latinx, and most of them come from families with lower socioeconomic statuses (SES).  The work I do with my students, both at Mathnasium and in the public middle school, allows me to hear from students who are currently being impacted by the pipeline.

I am excited about SELI because I will be near so many people who are invested in making public education equitable for all students, particularly students of color and students from low SES families," said Kara. 

Learn more about the 2016 SELI Summer Fellows and our partnering 2016 Placement Sites!

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