Alyssa Fortner is a research assistant for the child care and early education team. She provides research support and analysis on policy solutions that expand resources for child care and early education programs and increase access to high-quality care for all families. Prior to joining CLASP, she was a Food Systems Intern with Oxfam America through the Congressional Hunger Center’s Zero Hunger Internship Program. As a first-generation college student, Alyssa graduated from Mercer University with a B.A. in international affairs and global development studies with a minor in anthropology. During her time at Mercer, she served as a tutor in local public schools and a campus international programs ambassador. As a Gilman Scholar, Alyssa worked as a Program and Development Intern at Iliso Care Society in Cape Town, South Africa where she supported the implementation of a health awareness program in secondary schools. She later returned to South Africa to spearhead a research project on intergenerational trauma, racial justice, and socioeconomic inequality as they relate to political advocacy.