Mara Paris Stern joined the CDF Freedom Schools movement in 2014 as a Servant Leader Intern and educator in the Bronx. She felt that the community work profoundly connected with her studies and identity, and Mara continued to work with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) in different capacities in Washington D.C., New York City, NY, and Austin, TX. She currently is the Director of Programming at the Austin Jewish Academy after serving as the Founding Director of the Bonner Program at Capital University. The Bonner Program deepened Capital University’s history of community engagement and social justice by providing students with the opportunity to work collaboratively with the greater community to address issues affecting the community. Her students were guided by a multiyear curriculum and partnered with local nonprofit organizations that connect their identity, studies, and community engagement work. Mara is a proud Bonner alum from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. As a Bonner Scholar, she focused her service on access to education and addressing the cradle to prison pipeline. She currently serves as an Ella Baker Trainer for the Child Policy Training Institute with CDF. Mara is originally from Austin, Texas.