Ph.D. in Education, 2012
School of Education
November 1, 2007
Ph.D. Student Femi Vance Hones Professional Development Skills for Out-of-School Time Policy
Originally from sunny San Diego, Femi Vance pursued her undergraduate degree at the University of San Diego where she majored in psychology. Shortly after graduation, Femi accepted a position as a Youth Program Specialist for the Air Force and relocated to the east coast. During her time with the Air Force, she learned every aspect of running a military based youth program, from budgeting to maintaining staff ratios. She believes her most rewarding experience was converting an off base community center into a new youth center.
The time Femi spent organizing and coordinating the front line of youth services, helped her realize that she wanted to be in position to reach a broader range of children. This desire eventually led to her enrollment in the Masters in Public Policy program at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. The program afforded a unique opportunity to deepen her knowledge of youth policy and work on nonprofit management skills. As Femi communicates, “While I set out to satisfy my thirst for knowledge, I found that my appetite for youth and education policy grew exponentially!”
At UCI, Femi is focusing on her research interests, which include equity in school financing, funding for youth development programs, and the professional development of the out-of-school time (OST) workforce. Her first year in the program, she has been awarded a GSR (Graduate Student Researcher) position working with Department Chair Deborah Lowe Vandell on the national-level grant: Study of Promising After School Programs, funded through the Mott Foundation.
Femi intends to graduate from UCI prepared to deliver training to youth development professionals; to help youth programs improve quality in a cost efficient manner; and to develop, monitor, and implement policies that help build OST systems at the local and state level.