Deidra Coleman is the 2016-2017 Children's Rights Graduate Scholar for the CHRC. Deidra is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago. As an undergraduate, she studied Human Development and Psychology at Northwestern University, where she developed a special interest in child development. Her current research focuses on improving access to education for girls living in rural regions of Uganda and India. She is interested in exploring how factors, such as poverty, culture, and geographical location, shape educational opportunities, and how policies can be designed to improve educational outcomes.
Prior to Loyola, Deidra has served as an educator and advocate for children both locally and abroad. She taught high school freshman at Dusable Leadership Academy on Chicago’s South Side. She also taught English to kindergartners abroad in Guatemala, and more recently taught elementary students at the South East Asia center located in Chicago’s Uptown community. Deidra currently works as a research assistant at the University of Chicago, where she is presently involved in a project that focuses on understanding the impact of stress on the socioemotional development of low-income Chicago Public School students. Outside of work and school, Deidra enjoys tutoring youth at the South East Asian Friendship Center, and partnering with organizations, such as World Relief, that serve vulnerable refugee children and their families.