Welcome Velie Sando to Advance CTE!

I am super excited to join Advance CTE as a Policy Associate. I will be supporting the state policy team in a multitude of projects including the New Skills ready network and the state policy Year in Review. I have a keen interest in the intersection of policy and advocacy, and my experience serving marginalized populations in the fields of education and transportation drives my interest in Advance CTE’s mission.

Having understood that industry-recognized credentials are seldom enough to secure well-paying job opportunities in my home country, Cameroon, my parents migrated to the United States in 2005 to secure a brighter future for their children. This brave decision shaped my perspective from a young age, and has influenced my desire to support individuals in manifesting a stable and optimal quality of life.

I was immersed into the world of policy in 2017 as a Policy and Advocacy Fellow in San Antonio, Texas, where I researched methods to reduce recidivism in the region. I interviewed many Previously Incarcerated Individuals (PIIs) and created a framework to facilitate their access to reliable transportation and stable job opportunities. This experience exposed me to the varied components necessary for any individual to successfully engage in a society, and sparked my interest in education and transportation policy.

Upon the completion of my master’s degree, I began working as a Project & Policy Leader for Mobilify Southwestern Pennsylvania, a non-profit that promotes multi-modal transportation choices through advocacy, education, coalition-building and technical assistance services. I learned just how important it is to have the right people in the right positions who will do the right thing. Since then, my approach to policy and advocacy has been centered on utilizing innovative methods to encourage people in positions of power to promote policies that directly impact underserved populations. The membership lens through which Advance CTE advocates for equitable access to Career Technical Education speaks directly to my approach to this work, and I am thrilled to be part of the team!

Beyond my professional career, I wear many hats. I am a professional Afrobeats dancer, a self-proclaimed singer, a loving sister and a dear friend. My superpower is my adaptability, I thrive in fast-paced environments and a fun fact about me is that “je parle francais!”

I look forward to working with the Advance CTE staff, contributing to the work and soaking up the wealth of knowledge in the organization. 

Velie Sando, Policy Associate

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