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Presenting FLY’s Policy Fellow: Brittney Johnson

Brittney Johnson was hired as FLY’s Policy Fellow in August 2020. With a background in education, a passion for policy work, and an array of experience including interning for the Department of Education in Washington D.C., Brittney has been a great addition to the FLY team.

Brittney first discovered her love for education and policy work when she studied political science and cultural linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since then, she has received her Masters in Education from the University of Southern California and got her teaching credential. She believes that education is critical to expanding people’s world views and perspectives. 

Currently Brittney is attending Pepperdine University and working toward getting her Doctorate in Education. She hopes to play a leadership role in creating educational policies, and to build pathways to concrete change in our education system. 

Brittney admires the fact that education is a priority at FLY because it’s so important to young people’s success in life. She also says that so often it feels like you can be far away from the people you’re serving, but FLY has a close bond with youth and really incorporates their experience and ideas into its work. 

When she was close to graduation in the spring of 2020, Brittney began looking into fellowships. Besides the excellent opportunity to be involved in policy research, she was drawn to FLY’s mission to dismantle the pipeline to prison and the belief that young people are so much more than their past mistakes. 

Each day at FLY, Brittney reads recent news articles and coalition emails, and researches the current political climate. New information is constantly coming out on legislation and policy at the state level and in our local communities. She tracks the progress of each bill and organizes information for our Systems Change Task Force and Board of Directors to use in deciding what policies to support.  

Her work also includes writing proposals or letters of support for specific legislation, and compiling profiles of key legislators. The biggest project currently on her plate is developing FLY’s policy agenda with Dr. Cassidy Higgins, FLY’s Vice President of Community Impact. 

Brittney says that it’s been so illuminating working alongside Cassidy and she constantly learns new things every day as she helps document what FLY stands for. 

Brittney brings much enthusiasm and energy to FLY’s systems change efforts. She has played a key role in helping us develop a strong foundation for advocacy work in the years ahead, and we’re excited to witness what more she will accomplish!