University of Maryland, School of Public Policy
CLASS YEAR: 2024
JaKyah Beatty is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. In her degree program, she specializes in International Development and Environmental Policy. She recently returned from completing a Boren Fellowship in Tanzania, where she studied Swahili.
Earlier in her career, JaKyah graduated from Kent State University with a B.S in Fashion Merchandising where she discovered her passion for international development and public policy. After taking classes centered around sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry – from organic cotton farming in India to sweatshops and labor ethics in garment factories in other developing countries, she became deeply inspired to conduct research on outsourcing influences. Upon graduation, she worked for a social enterprise in Gulu, Uganda that employed Ugandan women and aided in economic development. While there, she also partnered with two local men and helped to initiate a community organization that provides education, mental health resources, and economic empowerment to local women who worked in prostitution.
Her experiences in Uganda pushed her to join The Peace Corps, where she served as a Community Youth Empowerment Volunteer in Fiji from 2019 until COVID-19 ended the organization’s operations in 2020. As a volunteer, she lived in a rural village and facilitated numerous community projects. While serving, JaKyah was elected by fellow Peace Corps Volunteers to serve as one of the five volunteers on the Gender and Development Committee (GAD). This committee was established to support more than 60 Peace Corps Fiji Volunteers and Fijian community members. It assisted the development of volunteers’ Gender Equity Training and distributed resources that aided volunteers in completing gender equity projects as well as women’s economic development projects.