Over the next few weeks, Groundwork Ohio is publishing a “Get to Know Groundwork” series, spotlighting members of our amazing team! This week, we’re getting to know Amy Meade, Groundwork’s Policy & Operations Manager. Amy is the newest member of the Groundwork team, joining us in March 2022.
As Policy & Operations Manager, Amy Meade supports Groundwork's policy development, external affairs, and operations. In this role, Amy works to foster relationships with stakeholders and strategic partners, provides administrative, development, and operational support, and leads the Early Childhood Leadership Fellowship through program development, implementation, and evaluation.
Amy is a skilled relationship builder, project leader, and advocate for social justice and human rights. Amy has an extensive career in the non-profit sector, specifically facilitating, developing, and managing programs. Prior to joining Groundwork Ohio, Amy strengthened and championed neighborhood adult education programs that served people with low literacy skills in the Chicagoland area. Amy earned her bachelor's degree in Human Development from Earlham College and a master’s degree in Human Development, Early Childhood Education from University of Rochester.
Check out our Q&A with Amy to learn more about why she’s a passionate advocate for young children and families in Ohio!
Q: What drew you to early childhood policy research and advocacy? Tell us more about your “why”!
A: I remember watching a documentary about a newborn baby in a psychology course I took my freshman year of college. Within only 10 minutes of being born, the baby was able to mirror his dad, who was sticking his tongue out. I was instantly intrigued. In only 10 minutes, a baby could do that. I remembered myself imagining what that child could do when he grew up. How his surroundings were already shaping his growth. It was so fascinating to me, and in that moment, I knew I was determined to contribute to healthy human development, and to make sure that we live in a world with humane, growth-producing systems.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received or a lesson that you’ve learned that has helped you in this work?
A: The best piece of advice I have received about this work is find a mentor. The guidance you can receive from a mentor is invaluable, and their ability to help you navigate the unknown paths of your work and reach your goals more quickly is what makes a mentor so important. I would not be where I am today without my mentors sharing their knowledge, offering guidance, and giving advice.
Q: Groundwork Ohio’s word for 2022 is ELEVATE. What’s your word for 2022?
A: PERSISTANCE: I have never felt more awake to the world and the travesties of injustice within in it. I have a fire in my heart that just won’t quit.
Q: When you aren’t advocating on behalf of young children and families, what do you enjoy doing?
A: When I am not advocating on behalf of young children and their families, I am spending time with my own family. My partner and I have been together for 10 years. We have the coolest daughter in the world who reveals herself to be more like her parents every day. I have beautiful friends and family that restore my soul and I feel my best when I am surrounded by those whom I love the most.
Q: Describe a scene from your vision of the future for Ohio’s youngest children and their caregivers.
A: I envision a world in which we are intentional in the ways we meet the needs of families and communities. We move beyond the assumptions of linear relationships between poverty and development and create interventions that build on situated understandings of the needs of parents and their access to resources in their communities. We also move beyond deficit views of pathways of child development that differ from white, middle-class norms.