VP of Advocacy & Policy
Yam Menon serves as the VP of advocacy & policy at 50CAN, supporting local leaders to create innovative and effective advocacy campaigns to enact and protect research-backed state education policies. Prior to 50CAN, Yam was the director of research and policy for ConnCAN, where she worked on a number of initiatives including increasing high-quality public school options, strengthening school turnarounds and improving minority teacher recruitment and certification policies.
Before ConnCAN, Yam was a community organizer for Love Makes a Family, where she led grassroots organizing efforts in support of marriage equality in Connecticut. Yam attended Johns Hopkins University and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was president of the Student Bar Association and a member of the Connecticut Law Review and Moot Court Board.
When not working, she can be found watching political fiction shows like House of Cards and Veep, reading fantasy novels and consuming extraordinarily large amounts of Indian food. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her spouse and very loved cats.
I aspire to be like Captain America. Here’s why:
Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) has a rock-solid sense of integrity, a strong moral compass and incredible determination. He rises above the challenge, never gives up for what he believes in, is a strong team leader and pushes those around him to be better. He represents all that we hope to be and become, and I hope to infuse this same passion and dedication into my work at 50CAN.
Why I love my job:
I’m excited for the possibilities that lie ahead for kids. Students in the classroom today will grow up to solve the country’s next great problem, bring together communities in support of a game-changing mission and common collective, lead a nation and change the world.
I am driven to do this work because I know that if we can provide kids with the great education they need and deserve, the possibilities are beyond anything that we might imagine today. The time to make it happen is now.
My connection to public schools:
Education is deeply important to me personally and professionally. I come from a family of public school educators that understand the power of education to unleash possibilities and opportunities for all. I got the chance to grow and thrive in my school, and others should have that as well.
What I’m bad at:
Sleeping in on vacation, even when I turn my alarm off. I’m married to a teacher, so we are both hard-wired to wake up early. I also constantly remember things I need to do in the middle of the night and wake up to note them for later.
The image that represents why I work at 50CAN:
In books, I see endless possibilities. The potential for great ideas, concepts, words and phrases, the ability to stretch our minds and imagination into the great beyond. I work so that we can make sure all kids also have those same endless possibilities, to be great and have a chance to do great things.
Image source: Stockholm Stadsbibliotek on Flickr (cc)