Forgotten & Underserved: Pacific Islanders Fight for Academic Success

Source: Long Beach Post

This was the motto of Hawaii’s Queen Kapi’olani. She told her people, “Strive for the very top of the mountain, strive for excellence.”

For years Pacific Islanders from Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga and Guam have been misunderstood. Since it’s first use in the 1990s, the term Asian Pacific Islander has often hidden the story of Pacific Islanders’ struggle for success. Often stereotyped as a model minority under the larger umbrella category of “Asian,” Pacific Islanders are left out in national discussions about education issues.

To read the full article and watch the video, click here.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.