Reaching every person with education
Roopal Saran, ‘94, MA ’94, has always had an interest in service. She started her career in school law before entering the nonprofit sector, working on issues ranging from child literacy to the importance of play. Now she’s the executive director of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, whose mission is to teach adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English so that they can access employment and educational opportunities and more fully participate in the community. "You’re cutting people off at the knees if you don’t figure out the right way to reach each and every person," she says. She says her time at the GSE was "100% practical" and that it helped her to view education from a variety of angles. As a coterm working on her master’s degree while she was still an undergrad, she was much younger than most of the people in her GSE cohort. "I was exposed to people who worked in rural areas and cities, people who had a background in pedagogy in how to teach age groups or subjects differently, and I had no experience in any of it," she says. "That helped me keep an open mind to alternate ways to approach education."