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We each have our own harvest, and we have the opportunity to share it with others. We hope you will share your harvest with us as we continue to build a future with new possibilities for leaders of color in early childhood policy.
We are just halfway through our first Fellowship cohort, and are beginning to see the impacts. Over the next several weeks, we will share stories from some of our Pathwaves Fellows and their supervisors to highlight the work they are doing together, our initial harvest. We sat down with Pathwaves Fellow Fernanda Martinez Novoa and Jon Gould, her supervisor at Childhaven, to ask how they have nurtured their partnership.
Fernanda and Jon worked together for a few years before the Pathwaves Fellowship began. Fernanda worked with the Early Childhood Developmental Navigator program at Childhaven. She had known for some time that she wanted to work at the policy level, but didn’t anticipate that possibility at Childhaven. However, the organization was undergoing some cultural shifts, resulting in funding toward a new focus on public policy and hired Jon to lead this work. When Fernanda received an email announcing Jon’s hire, she immediately reached out to him to learn about how she could get involved with his work.
Soon after starting his new role, Jon approached senior leadership at Childhaven with the idea of hosting a Pathwaves Fellow. He had participated in the development of the Fellowship, and believed it would be a perfect fit for their organization. Childhaven’s leadership was immediately on board, recognizing the values alignment and possibility for capacity building for their team. Jon told Fernanda about the opportunity, and they began developing the role she would hold as a Public Policy Specialist.
Since the start of Childhaven’s partnership with Pathwaves, several changes have taken place within the organization. With Fernanda and Jon’s leadership, Childhaven has established a team of employees dedicated to expanding their capacity to work on policy and advocacy. Together, the team creates strategy, organizes lobby days, and develops capacity building training for staff members. Because of Fernanda’s leadership, this team will soon be expanding to include community members. Jon attributes this shift to Pathwaves’ influence and Fernanda’s commitment to hold Childhaven and their policy and advocacy team accountable to their community. They are excited to see how their influence will continue to spread through other branches of the organization.
Looking ahead, Jon hopes to continue to partner with Pathwaves by hosting another fellow. “There is only one Fernanda, but there are many more Fernandas,” he jokes, referring to other folks with direct service experience and a passion for Early Childhood Policy who would be a welcome and necessary addition to their growing team. Fernanda shares, “I hope this is just the beginning of the expansion of Childhaven’s policy and advocacy work.” Jon adds, “Thanks to Pathwaves Washington, Childhaven has built capacity for equity-focused early childhood advocacy. Our current work on early childhood special education wouldn’t be possible without the Fellowship. And, because system change work takes consistency and commitment, we look forward to continuing the relationship with Pathwaves Washington for years to come.”