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DSI Grace Kwon (‘20) on Finding Purpose in Design

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Monica Snellings has been surrounded by policy and politics for the past 20 years, leading design teams and raising a family on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. She’s worked with government agencies and nonprofit organizations in the development of behavior, policy, and strategic communication materials. At the National Institute of Aging, she helped create Go4Life, an integrated campaign that encouraged seniors to fit more exercise into their everyday lives. This project, along with her time as the design director of AARP’s International Journal, encouraged her to seek out other ways to make a social impact and brought her to DSI. She’s interested in collaborative living, civic engagement, healthy aging, education, and the arts. She currently works with the Brooklyn Commune, a public visioning project that investigates the economics of cultural production in the United States, and is helping to remake K-12 social studies education with Citizen: Me and the National Council for the Social Studies.

Since graduating DSI, she has been working to transform the US education system from an industrial system designed for efficiency, batching, and sorting of young people to one that is responsive to each individual and centers on learning embedded in a rich ecosystem of relationships. This transformed system sees all young people as agents of action in their communities and the larger world, fully capable of making contributions today. We call this future of education “learner-centered.”

She joined Education Reimagined in Washington, DC a year after graduating from DSI, when the company was but a vision and not even named as an organization. Her job as the Vice President of Communications has been to establish a strong brand, attract and identify leaders in the field and tell their stories—all towards building a movement for transformation. Education Reimagined is currently aimed at realizing the ambition of having a learner-centered option for every child in the US by 2030. This entails their largest strategic, marketing and communications effort to date.

You can find Monica on LinkedIn.

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