Nominee for Board Director:
Edward Pickett III
Polytechnic School (CA)
Board members contribute many valuable skills to their work on the board, including leadership abilities, budget or financial planning, communications and media relations, advocacy and strategic planning, and other skills. How does your experience and skill set prepare you to be an effective board member?
*Statement submitted June 3, 2021
I view life as a series of opportunities. As a first-generation college student, I truly believe that my liberal arts and sciences undergraduate education transformed my life for the better. I am a Black man who attended public K-12 schools and grew up between Oakland and Berkeley, California. I was born to 19 and 20-year-old parents who both battled drug and alcohol addictions. While my father turned to religion and eventually became a pastor, my mother went to jail for most of my school years between ages 9 – 23. “It takes a village to raise a child,” describes my upbringing because I lived with my grandparents for the second half of my childhood. Until I finished graduate school in Higher Education Administration, I was afraid to share my family background. I’ve now realized my voice is often missing in many settings, so it’s important for me to speak my truth for the other people who might feel alone.
Professionally, I have worked for a CBO at a Jesuit college, been the Director of Diversity Recruitment at a highly selective college, and currently work in a K-12 independent school and for a summer CBO. What I loved about working in admissions was the opportunity to develop and execute sustainable programs to affect change in the student body. Most importantly, I cherished the opportunities to train the next generation of admissions officers to continue their professional development and further benefit the students we served. This is also the reason I’ve been so involved with Guiding the Way to Inclusion. On the high school side, working with both public and private school students has helped me understand the daily stress that arises during the admissions process. From my experiences, I have gained an understanding of the unique challenges of college admissions in this ever-changing world, the ability to navigate difficult conversations, and how to align institutional priorities with our daily work.
I have consistently been recognized for my strong organizational and time management skills, talent in forming relationships, ability to effectively manage stressful situations, and my sense of humor. As a former team sport athlete and co-captain of two college varsity sports, I have learned everyone is motivated by different factors, and I believe that everyone has something to contribute. The development of a team takes both time and energy, and I’m willing to do my part. I hope to bring this approach to the NACAC Board of Directors.
I am running for the Board of Directors because I’m truly interested in policy work. The day-to-day roles in schools have the opportunity to help small groups, but policy is what pushes our profession and country in a positive direction. In other words, the day-to-day work is the “moment,” but the policy work is the “movement.” Since many of us are the gatekeepers, being a member of the NACAC Board of Directors feels like the right opportunity to make a broader impact on our profession, and therefore our country.
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