Megan Nestor: Policy Pitch Competition

September 12, 2018 0:03:33
Kaltura Video

Megan Nestor (MPP '19 Ford Fellow) talks about how her internship at the Detroit Mayor's Office gave her life–changing impact in expanding the city's Pre–K programs.


My name is Meghan Nestor and this past
summer I interned at the Detroit mayor's

office and he had the distinct pleasure
to carpool with an I think goal

from Ann Arbor so
we can talk about that later.

I came to policy school after 10 years
in the nonprofit sector where I was

supporting college and career access for
historically under-represented students in

New York City I returned to school and
to my home state because I wanted

to learn how to address social change at a
deeper level and I also wanted to venture

away from my experience in education and
learn about some new policy areas from

the start of my time here I knew I wanted
to work in Detroit for the summer for

one thing it's a very exciting place
to be right now and I remember when my

supervisor interviewed me she pitched the
pitch the excitement pretty hard she said

they're going to write books about this
time in Detroit Michigan Don't you want to

be a part of that very intensely and
I did I did want to be a part of it.

Folks in the mayor's office
are consistently reaching for

the same North Star goal to serve
the people of Detroit every action taken

every dollar spent every conversation had
it comes back to this mission of serving

the people of Detroit it's pretty
phenomenal I was thrilled to have

the chance to work with these people and
to learn about so many different areas

of policy I worked out of the office of
development and so provided support to

raise money for various mayoral priorities
so I got to work on projects and

work with departments ranging from port
security to lead remediation to parks

improvements all over the map but
the most exciting part of the summer for

me was working on a feasibility
study regarding expanding pre-K.

industry I knew the question that
the mayor wanted an answer to which was

can Detroit offer free universal pre-K.
but beyond that it was up to me and

my colleagues to figure out the rest
we engaged in stakeholder interviews

quantitative research and evaluation
of current policies both here and

across the country all lots of stuff that
I learned at the ford school last year and

this all culminated in a few
meetings with Mayor Dugan himself

we laid out our recommendations for
expanding pre-K. and at one point.

Mayor actually looked at me and said Well
what do you think we should do just like

that he likes to point a lot and
I was really excited a little scared but

mostly excited and emboldened to say like
I think we should do this we can do this

there's a real change we can make for
people in the city of Detroit so

later that week I attended a meeting with
the mayor and other city leaders including

the superintendent of Detroit Public
Schools the heads of the Kreskin Kellogg

foundations and I listen to Mayor Dugan
lay out his plans for expanding pre-K.

in the city plans I had directly
worked on it influenced and

I watched the other leaders in
the room respond with excitement and

promises of lots of support financial and
otherwise and it was a very exciting

day to see my work followed through all
the way from the community outreach phase

to recommendations to the actual start
of implementation of a new policy

I've never experienced anything like that
before it was it was really incredible So

I started my time at Ford school thinking
I wanted to move away from news and

education and try something new but
to my surprise I found that the project I

was most energized by this summer was
about just that after my experiences and

a trait I now know that I definitely want
to work in a city that I care deeply about

I want to focus on policies that make
a direct impact in people's lives and

I learned that I may end up returning
to work all began for me working for

Youth and Families who knows maybe
even right here in Detroit thanks.