Kenya Abner

As a 2022-2023 Pathway Fellowship Recipient, Kenya Abner is this year's California Competes summer intern. The Pathway Fellowship Program is designed to prepare students for a doctoral program through engaging educational research, and by offering practical experience in the field of research. Kenya will be receiving an in-depth hands on experience into the strategies and processes that allow California Competes to move toward their vision of creating equitable and racially just postsecondary and workforce outcomes. Under the supervision of David Radwin, she will participate in research projects, observe legislative sessions that pertain to higher education policy, and gain a deeper understanding of how research impacts community outreach, higher education, and the post graduate workforce.

Before joining our team, Kenya worked in both the public and charter school systems. Her interests in the fields of education and child development have merged and created an awareness of the social inequalities and education disparities of underrepresented children. She currently holds a bachelor's degree in Child Development and plans to obtain a master's degree in Public Policy.

What motivates you to advance California Competes mission?
Because of policy research that led to implementation of impactful student support programs, it became possible for my husband and I to graduate from our postsecondary programs. Challenges that could have easily derailed us such as childcare, the cost of education, financial instability and lack of information were not barriers. By bolstering equity and solving the state’s social and economic problems, California Competes contributed towards our success, and many others, and allowed us to engage and contribute back to our community. I am motivated to advance the mission of California Competes, because I have the opportunity of working with an extraordinary team to help others succeed as well.