Name: Kim Truong

Hometown: Troy, MI

Major: Sociology

InternshipPlacement: Brookings Institute, Brown Center on Education Policy

Why did you decide to do Michigan in Washington?

I wanted to keep exploring options in education reform, and I knew that D.C. is the heart of large-scale reform. My internship in education policy research is letting me see if I am ready for a full-time career in academia or research. I also wanted to see how I fit into the D.C. community as a place to grow and work.

What are some of the projects you have been working on at your internship?

I am helping my researchers with a variety of projects. Some of the topics include community college workforce development, comparisons of policy quality between centralized education state governments and decentralized ones, school arrival times with efficient bus routes, and racial gaps in school administration staff.

What elective are you taking and is there anything interesting you have been learning/doing for this class?

I am taking an elective called Politics of Persuasion with Dr. Demessie from the University of
Michigan. This class pushes me to write op-eds and policy briefs, pieces that I hope to keep writing as I continue my path in education reform. This class also analyzes how policy intertwines with public speaking and persuasion as a way to help everyone get on the same page. Dr. Demessie is a great teacher and brings knowledge from her own experiences to help us create our own policy suggestions through presentations.

What has been your coolest moment in D.C. so far?

Last week, I started volunteering at a D.C. school to help tutor small groups of second
graders. Although managing and teaching the children was a bit draining, I loved engaging with the young students and seeing how enthusiastic they were to show off their math skills. After graduation, I will be tutoring more with City Year in Detroit, so I am happy to have an opportunity to prepare for my time in the classroom. It is also great to see another part of D.C. aside from the glittering city center that I work and live in. D.C. is another urban school
district that faces similar issues as other cities across the nation, and I believe that exposure to these inequalities is the first step to fixing them.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of the semester? 

I have made some very valuable, genuine, and strong friendships at UCDC and my internship. I am looking forward to enjoying my time with these friends to grow and learn more
with them over the next two months we have together.