Rachel Burg Belin founded and directs the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, an initiative that supports young people to work as partners to improve Kentucky public schools.
She came to the Prichard Committee as the development director in 2002 after serving as policy director for the Kentucky state treasurer. Previously, she was a high school social studies teacher of the “Facing History and Ourselves” civic engagement curriculum, which uses the Holocaust as the central case study in New York, Florida and Kentucky classrooms. She has spent over three decades working with young people outside the schools to use the media to amplify their voices in public life.
Inspired first by her experience as a middle school reporter for the nationally syndicated (now defunct) Children’s Express news service, Rachel has since launched and led a series of media-literacy projects in a variety of contexts. Her initiatives include the Boston-based Youth Voice Collaborative, which trained teams of urban youth as political reporters for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; Kid Company News, a Peabody-Award-Winning radio feature featuring youth journalists that aired for six years on WBZ-AM; and the Youth News Team, consisting of Central Kentucky teens and parents that produced two Emmy-Award-winning public radio series based on their original education policy research.
Most recently, and in addition to her development work, Rachel co-designed and co-directs with middle and high school students the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, a program that amplifies the voices of Kentucky youth on the classroom impact of education policies and support students as partners in improving Kentucky schools.
Rachel received a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.A.T. from the University of Rochester. Her experience marching with her family in the March for Soviet Jewry in Washington, D.C. while in high school was what directly led her to serve on the board of the Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass. In that capacity, she is also a recipient of its Young Leadership Award.
Opening PlenarySee full schedule