Amanda Blazka graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Human Development and Family Sciences and a specialization in Early Childhood Development in the Spring of 2019. Given her passion about understanding human development from multiple perspectives, she pursued her Master’s degree at Northeastern University in Criminology and Criminal Justice. At Northwestern, she combined her undergraduate background in lifespan development and family functioning with her graduate studies that had a research emphasis on evidence-based policy, education policy, and early prevention. While at Northeastern University, Amanda worked with the Center on Crime and Community Resilience as a field researcher, supporting the organization’s mission to help disadvantaged communities with impactful policy solutions through research. Most recently, Amanda has served as a College and Career Strategy Intern for the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE) where she primarily supports programs stemming from the PrepareRI initiative that prepares all youth in Rhode Island with the skills they need to excel in college and/or a career upon graduation. Amanda believes that her academic pursuits have led her full circle, providing her with an understanding of the support people need to develop positively and the outcomes that could result for individuals if the system is not supportive. After graduating from Northeastern in December, 2020, Amanda was excited to continue working with RIDE as an Early Learning Education Specialist, where she supports the state of Rhode Island’s expansion of high-quality Universal Pre-K.