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Let's work together.

Through my consulting shop, First Quarter Strategies LLC, we can work together to make sure young people are ready for the world and the world is ready for them.

Are you a state or community leader?

I work with gubernatorial and mayoral leadership, public agencies, interagency groups like Children's Cabinets and P20 Councils, statewide partnerships, and community collaboratives. We can work together to develop and drive an issue campaign, build an advocacy agenda, start or staff a coalition, or plan your next generation of work. I can support your team with technical assistance or facilitation. To see what this can look like, read this piece on my work with partners in Virginia or explore this Virginia education network.

Are you a funder, nonprofit, or intermediary?

I can support your team as by helping to co-design and facilitate networks (e.g., Connecting Credentials), funder groups (e.g., YTFG workgroup), learning communities (e.g., JFF Leadership Academy), and fellowship programs (e.g., Students at the Center Distinguished Fellows). We can partner on special projects, field research, publications, tools, or resources. For examples, check out this report on youth readiness, funded by the Ford Foundation; this brief on competency-based education and equity, funded by Lumina Foundation; this ecosystem map of competency-based education in higher education, funded by the Gates Foundation; and this economic well-being investment framework, written for YTFG.

Are you a district or school leader?

I am an educator with a background in pedagogy and school design. I taught elementary school, coached middle school sports, and led an education nonprofit that ran a high school for older youth (Shearwater) on a technical college campus. I can help you design alternative and student-centered learning models (e.g., EPIC Schools in NYC), build a competency-based or personalized learning approach, or reinvigorate and strengthen your community-school or educator-employer partnerships. We can strategize and plan for student support services, healing-centered practices, or to develop and implement a portrait of a learner. I am available to work with your team to revamp professional development and plan for a stronger focus on thriving and mental health.

Are you An industry or Credentialing leader?

While my work started with youth, I spent a decade partnering with industry, corporate, and credentialing leaders to serve and support the "untapped workforce" in college and at work. These are young adult workers and working parents in need of better work and wages. I can work with you to find ways to prepare for and support these workers. This can include customized workshops and resources, or working together to craft more inclusive and impactful policies, practices, and programs. Through JFF, I co-led untapped workforce efforts with several groups, including Hilton Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Are you another kind of leader?

Do you want to work together but don't fit into the groups above? No problem. Reach out! I want to hear from you and talk about what we can do together. If you are a news or media outlet and want to discuss a writing opportunity or interview, send me an email at or Direct Message on Twitter with your idea and deadline at @stephanie_malia.

RECENT projects + Partnerships
  • Pathways to Economic Well-Being Work Group of the Youth Transition Funders Group (YTFG). This funder workgroup focuses on the education, employment, and economic support needs of vulnerable young people ages 14-25 in the US. This consulting work includes offering direct and collective support to funder members, delivering a learning agenda, and planning events.

  • Backbone Facilitation for a Multi-Funder Initiative Focused on Special Student Populations. This multi-funder collaborative is co-facilitated by Maddy Day LLC and Associates. It focuses on US field and funder knowledge- and base-building, research collaboration, and federal policy that supports the educational success of students who experience homelessness, foster care, and/or the criminal justice system.

  • State Strategy for Bringing Education + Youth Development Leadership Together. This Forum for Youth Investment consulting effort supports Virginia education and youth development leaders in establishing the Commonwealth Alliance for Thriving Youth and a Virginia Portrait of Thriving Youth.

  • Strategy Support for the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance. This project with the SoLD Alliance supports a national vanguard of education and youth development leaders as they work to transform the places where children learn to be aligned with the science of learning and development, and designed for equity. Through a strategy step-back process, we are considering the full range of activities SoLD can do given the level of change underway and an emergent and rapidly changing future.

  • State Support Focused on Child and Youth Resiliency, Mental Health, and Social Emotional Learning. This engagement, supported by the National Governors' Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, provided direct support to leaders in North Dakota in their efforts to support young people's learning, workforce development, and behavioral health.

  • Strategy Support for the Partnership for the Future of Learning. This partnership with KP Catalysts supported a national network of over 600 leaders from 300 education and social justice organizations, helping them to learn from their first five years to chart a course for the future.

  • Senior Fellow and Advisor on Older Youth, Youth Mental Health, and Positive Youth Development. I advise and assist Education Northwest, Children's Funding Project, and the CERES Institute for Children & Youth in their efforts focused on child and youth development, well-being and mental health, opportunity youth, and alternative education.

Areas of experIENCE and interest

  • whole child and whole life approaches

  • youth mental health

  • child and youth well-being

  • transition into adulthood

  • economic and education justice

  • educator and youth development workforce

  • statewide partnerships focused on children and education

  • communitywide partnerships focused on children and education

  • student-centered learning and human-centered design

  • competency-based and personalized education

  • positive youth development

  • alternative education and reengagement strategies

  • marginalized youth populations

  • future of work and learning

  • regenerative economic development and education

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Technical Assistance
Leadership Support


Landscape Analysis
Root Cause Analysis
Investment Mapping
Asset Mapping


Communities of Practice
PSO Networks
Fellowship Programs
National Networks
State Partnerships
Community Coalitions


Book Clubs & Talks
Topical Keynotes
Institutes and Workshops


Program Design
Tool Development
Resources and Reports


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