Education Northwest is excited to announce that Stephanie Malia Krauss has joined the organization as a senior fellow. In this new role, Stephanie will support a range of Education Northwest projects that lie at the intersections of youth development, workforce development, and alternative secondary school pathways.
For more than a decade, Stephanie has collaborated with students, educators, system leaders, policymakers, and funders across the United States to ensure that young people of today are ready for the world of tomorrow—and that the world is ready for them.
“The reality is, the traditional model of education is working for fewer and fewer kids every year, especially as evidenced in the last year and a half,” said Stephanie. “As a senior fellow, I will contribute to Education Northwest initiatives that consider a whole child, whole life approach to academic, social, and emotional health and well-being; redesign education spaces for young people who may not thrive in a typical school; and reimagine the future of alternative education.”
Stephanie began her career as a classroom teacher and later ran a nonprofit that operated one of the nation’s first alternative, competency-based high schools. More recently, she has led youth and workforce development initiatives at the state and national levels with Jobs for the Future, the Forum for Youth Investment, the Youth Transition Funders Group, and others.
In March 2021, Stephanie released her first book, Making It: What Today’s Kids Need for Tomorrow’s World. It outlines the four “life currencies” that young people will need to secure economic and education opportunities in the global market—and how adults can help them build those currencies.
“Education Northwest is building an exciting portfolio of work focused on youth reengagement,” said Christopher Mazzeo, the organization’s director of research and evaluation. “We are thrilled to bring someone with Stephanie’s deep experience and expertise on these issues into the organization.”
Stephanie’s approach is grounded in a deep commitment to equity and justice, values she cultivated through her training as an educator and social worker. She draws on her personal experience as a teacher, a parent of school-aged children, and a proud GED recipient to develop solutions that are practical, forward-thinking, and center young people and families most likely to be harmed or held back by traditional systems.
“I have worked alongside Education Northwest team members for years,” Stephanie said. “I’m really excited to continue working with the team to think about how we customize and design learning experiences to accommodate life challenges, to honor what a young person needs now and later, and to be more relevant and relationship-based. Every kid needs that, whether they’re in an alternative environment or not.”