Rainbow Chen: Equitable, ethical education through international experience

To advance education equity and policy, the Class of 2021 graduate and newly named Fulbright scholar will spend a year as an English teaching assistant in the Netherlands.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – In a year marked by uncertainty and trepidation toward the future, Rainbow Chen held fast. After graduating from Brown in May with a degree in education and history, Chen knew exactly what she would do next.

“I wanted education experience,” she said, “not necessarily education research or a degree in education research or policy abroad.”

An advocate for education equity and outreach since her first days at Brown, Chen was recently selected as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award recipient and will soon settle in the heart of the Netherlands, where she will further her career in education policy as a teaching assistant at ROC van Amsterdam.

“I personally learn best when I am talking to people,” said Chen, who hails from Winooski, Vermont. “Storytelling is a huge way I learn, along with just being in an immersive cultural environment, so I felt like Fulbright was a perfect way to combine all of those wants, needs and interests into a single year of, hopefully, an amazing experience.”

Chen’s approach has always been equity-focused.

As an undergraduate at Brown, Chen joined the Swearer Center’s Bonner Community Fellowship program, which matches predominately low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students with local community organizations working in education, health care, environment, economic justice and the arts. As a fellow, she worked extensively with Youth in Action, an after-school program in Providence that supports local students of color in sharing their stories.

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