Tiffany Lankes is the communications director for The Education Trust–New York. She looks for opportunities to shed light on what’s happening in classrooms serving New York’s most at risk students and writes about ways school systems can do a better job setting all children up for a successful future. She is also the go-to person for journalists interested in writing about the work of the organization and covering education equity issues in New York.
Tiffany joined Ed Trust–NY after working for 14 year as an education reporter writing about schools in Florida, Rochester and Buffalo. Her work as a journalist helped her develop a deep understanding of – and desire to fix – the gaps in access and achievement that become barriers for many groups of students. She has written in depth articles and narratives exploring the challenges facing students with disabilities, immigrants and young men of color.
Having lived in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, Tiffany is deeply familiar with Upstate New York’s largest cities. She attended Syracuse University and holds degrees in newspaper journalism and policy studies.
What drew you to education?
I kind of stumbled onto the education beat when I started working as a reporter, but immediately loved visiting classrooms and sharing stories of the important work that happens there. I quickly came to see the beat from a social justice perspective, and focused my reporting on the challenges children face, the inequities that often hold them back from being successful and how we as a society can set all students up for a bright future.
I’m always proud – and grateful – when a story I write inspires readers to take action improving the lives of kids. One of my favorite examples of that came out of a series I wrote about an elementary school program aimed at helping young men of color be successful. Following the series, a donor set up a scholarship fund guaranteeing to pay tuition for young men enrolled in the program who went on to graduate from high school.
Why are you passionate about working at Ed Trust?
I truly believe we can address many broader societal problems and inequities by focusing on children. Much of that work can happen in school systems. By honestly identifying the barriers – and actively looking for solutions – we can create more opportunities for all people.