VTA’s Cassie Willner selected as a White-Riley-Peterson Fellow

The Riley Institute at Furman University has selected Cassie Willner to participate in the White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellowship. A partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the WRP Fellowship is a ten-month, national program designed to equip graduates with a real-world understanding of policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning.

Cassie is the Communications Coordinator at Vermont Afterschool, where she has worked since 2012 to increase awareness of out-of-school time programs. She also works with advocates, providers, educational stakeholders, and policymakers to develop strategies that will improve the quality of and access to afterschool and summer programs across Vermont.

In October, Cassie will travel to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, to begin the program. As part of the fellowship, Cassie will develop and implement a state-level policy project in partnership with Vermont Afterschool and the national Afterschool Alliance. She is one of 16 individuals selected as a WRP Fellow this year. The number of WRP Fellows nationwide has grown to 106 in 49 states since the initiative launched in 2012.

“It is so important for young people to have access to high-quality academic enrichment opportunities during afterschool hours and in the summer – and we need policy leaders who can make that happen.  The White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship is leading the way in developing afterschool advocates, future policymakers and advisors across the country.  I’m so proud to welcome 16 more leaders to this outstanding program,” said former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.

The WRP Policy Fellowship is named for Riley and for William S. White, chairman and CEO of the C.S. Mott Foundation, and Dr. Terry Peterson, national board chair of Afterschool Alliance and senior fellow at the Riley Institute and the College of Charleston.

Learn more about the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship here.