Simone Ngongi-Lukula Education Equity Fellow, MassINC

As the proud daughter of Congolese immigrants and a product of public schooling, Simone aims to identify and reimagine how social investments and philanthropic practices can address structural racism, promote justice, and advance more equitable outcomes in education that support our most vulnerable populations.

Simone graduated from Wheelock College Boston University in 2018. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2020, where she earned a master’s degree in Urban Education Policy.

Her research interests build on work initiated at the Technical Education Research Center in Cambridge, MA. Her experience as a research assistant on three National Science Foundation-funded projects allowed her to examine how systemic racism in education impacts access to quality teaching and learning experiences among urban, Students of Color.

As a graduate student and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, Simone’s work focused on culturally sustaining practices that work to eradicate structural inequities that shape the school experiences and academic achievement of urban, immigrant students. She studied the identities of urban, immigrant youth through a transcultural lens, focusing on how the strengths and skills that come out of their migration journey can be used as a tool for learning.

Simone has committed her life’s work to improving the educational, and in turn, life opportunities of those whose identities and voices have been marginalized, ostracized, and silenced.

In her spare time Simone enjoys traveling, reading, and brunch!

ARTICLES By Simone Ngongi-Lukula

New data shows Early College is delivering as promised for Massachusetts

Massachusetts’ Early College initiative is quietly establishing a new standard for rigorously evaluating a strategic effort that aspires to increase educational outcomes for students across the state. This research brief sheds light on this evaluation framework and the impressive performance that the methods reveal to date. We then surface unanswered research questions and evaluation challenges

Sizing Up Massachusetts’ Looming Skilled-Worker Shortage

In an extensive 2014 report with the UMass Donahue Institute, MassINC predicted the 2020’s would be the first decade in Massachusetts history to post a reduction in the state’s working-age, college-educated population. Drawing on the limited data available, this research brief explores how the COVID-19 pandemic disruption could impact our previous estimate. The analysis surfaces

Investing in Success

Findings From a Cost–Benefit Analysis of Massachusetts Community Colleges

Building on 2021 MassINC research, this new report provides a rigorous and comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of Massachusetts community colleges. The findings document large returns to students who graduate with certificates or degrees. While taxpayers also realize substantial fiscal benefits on a per-degree basis, low graduation rates mean returns on state expenditure are minimal in the

Choosing Integration

A Discussion Paper and Policy Primer

Choosing Integration describes how economic segregation leads to high levels of racial and ethnic inequality in Massachusetts and contrasts this serious structural issue with the significant benefits that all students realize when they attend schools that are fully integrated by race, ethnicity, and income. The analysis, funded by Policy for Progress, shows Massachusetts has seen

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