Caroline O’Connor is a program manager at Jobs for the Future. She’s a member of the Financing the Future team, whose mission is to identify new strategies for financing education and investing in workforce development.
Before joining JFF, Caroline worked as a graduate fellow at the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) while studying at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. In that role, she helped the nonprofit research and advocacy organization’s policy and research and innovation teams craft research-based policy stances. She focused primarily on identifying new approaches to K-12 financing, both through reforms of statewide funding formulas and strategies that leveraged federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.
Earlier in her career, she served as a City Year Corps member at the Maurice J. Tobin K-8 school in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where she supported her partner teacher in an upper school math class. She says that this experience solidified her interest in working to eliminate inequities at all levels of the education system.
Caroline says she joined JFF because she supports the organization’s mission to ensure that all learners receive not only a high-quality education but also the wraparound supports that help them overcome any barriers they might face as they transition from education to the workforce. She believes in the power of education and thinks that all learners deserve equitable opportunities to succeed in education and careers.
She holds a master’s degree in public policy and education policy from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and a bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from the University of Virginia.
When she’s not working, Caroline enjoys spending time outside with her two dogs, Ayla and Winnie. She also loves exploring the Southeast’s hiking trails, as well as cooking for friends and family.