Wallace Receives Alumnae Graduate Fellowship

Wallace Receives Alumnae Graduate Fellowship

Alexzandra_WallaceAlexzandra Wallace was eleven years old when she handed her mother two brochures that she’d snuck from the school’s guidance office. One was from an Ivy League college; the other from a large boarding school.

Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, Wallace understood that she needed a better education than she could get at her neighborhood schools.

Today Wallace (BS09) isn’t just a proud School of Education and Social Policy alumna. She’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in Learning and Organizational Change so she can build systems that will broadly influence educational outcomes, break the cycle of poverty, and help give others the same opportunities she received.

In recognition of her efforts, Wallace has been awarded the 2019 Alumnae Graduate Fellowship by The Alumnae of Northwestern University, which is given to full-time graduate students and promising young scholars who have shown qualities such as scholarship, leadership, community service, professional experience, and financial need.

Wallace, whose life experience underscores the importance of access to quality education, has devoted her career to developing experiential learning opportunities for K-12 students who attend the University of Chicago’s Charter and Laboratory schools.

Most notably, she created the Internship for Civic Engagement through a partnership with the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement. This program emphasizes leadership development for students in the context of community-based learning. “My goal is to empower students to think critically, problem solve, and become agents of change,” she said.

Wallace's experiences, which include volunteer work with the non-profit Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, helped her realize that systemic and institutional change is needed to help lift others out of poverty.

“I recognized early in life that the only way to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty was to access high-quality educational opportunities typically reserved only for the most privileged,” Wallace said.

Now, her career path is rooted in developing policies and practices that influence that required change. “The launch pad for that vision is the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC),” she said.

As a youngster, Wallace did eventually convince her mother to allow her to attend a boarding school. From there, she studied learning and organizational change in the School of Education and Social Policy.

“This educational experience did not just change my personal trajectory; it has inspired me to uplift others by making a meaningful contribution to society,” she said.

“Through the foundation that will be laid by MSLOC, I truly believe that I will walk away with the tools needed to pursue my vision,” she said.  “I will continue to endeavor to make a difference in the lives of children from neighborhoods like the one I grew up in, who deserve a fair shot at success—children who are just like me. “

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 1/15/19