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Toya Fick is the Oregon Executive Director of Stand for Children, a nonprofit education advocacy organization dedicated to making quality education accessible for all children. She grew up in a small town in Louisiana and became the first member of her entire extended family to graduate from college. Toya then worked as a middle school teacher in Baton Rouge with Teach for America and after that, as an education policy staffer for former Senator Hillary Clinton. Her next career move involved becoming a senior legislative associate with the Alliance for Excellence in Education.  Due to her activism, Toya earned herself a featured spot in 2017 in Portland Business Journal’s 40 under 40


  • What opportunities there are for students who want to break into the field (4:00)
  • What internships are available at Stand for Children (4:29)
  • How being able to connect with people is an asset in this field (5:46)
  • Why Toya is more impressed with an applicant’s extracurriculars than their classwork (6:27)
  • How Toya has used her experience as a first-generation college student to help her throughout her career (8:56)
  • What Toya feels is the best part of her job (10:44)
  • How Toya uses her experiences as a Black woman to help her in her career (16:54)
  • Why to listen to Nice White Parents, a This American Life Podcast series to learn more
  • Why to read Nikola Hannah-Jones investigative reporting on education and race to learn more
  • What people often misconceive about what it’s like working to change government policies (21:05)

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