Hope welcomes Carrie Welton as our new Director of Policy!

Headshot of Carrie Welton, affiliate of the Hope Center

The Hope Center is redefining what it means to be a student-ready college through action research and advocacy to help #RealCollege students succeed. These efforts include advancing public policies that are evidence-based to promote students’ access to affordable food, housing, transportation, and childcare so they can focus on completing their degree.

That is why we are thrilled to welcome Carrie Welton, formerly of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), as our inaugural Director of Policy!

Carrie brings over 10 years of policy and strategy experience to the Hope Center. One of her primary focus areas has been and will continue to be how to improve federal and state policies to reduce the basic needs insecurity of postsecondary students to improve their access, persistence and completion. Carrie is committed to equity and social justice and centers her work on improving access and opportunity for students with low incomes, students of color, parenting, first generation, and immigrant students.

In her previous role at CLASP Carrie worked on advocating for policy reforms that improve the lives of people with low-income, communities of color, and immigrants using a racial equity lens across income and work support programs. While at CLASP she provided technical assistance to states to align postsecondary and human services policies to better support students and maximize federal and state funding streams. Through this work she established herself as a known and well-respected advocate and expert on student basic needs insecurity policy.

Previously, Carrie worked at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on the national Education and Learning team focused on early childhood systems alignment and systems change levers. Prior to that she spent four years at the Kellogg Company on the organization’s government relations team as well as five years on the state board of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan furthering the civil liberties and civil rights of residents.

Carrie brings the passion and experience of having been a low-income student who faced food and housing insecurity. Her commitment to policy and systems changed have been directly informed by the barriers she faced that often discourage low income students from attaining a college degree. She attended a community college while parenting her young son and went on to become a first-generation college graduate, receiving and undergraduate degree in Public Law from Western Michigan University and later a Master of Public Administration degree from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.