Sarah Labadie leads the organization's efforts to develop and promote policies that help adult and low-income students access and succeed in college. She is also an expert in online advocacy and grassroots organizing. Sarah joined the staff of Women Employed in 2008.
Labadie is experienced in online and grassroots advocacy, having spearheaded WE’s online Action Network and strengthened in both size and effect the Student Advocates for Success (SAS) initiative, our student organizing project that brings together community college students to advocate for increased education funding and financial aid. Leveraging the power of advocates and SAS, Labadie has been able to restore funding to the state’s need-based financial aid grant, the Monetary Award Program (MAP) and prevent further cuts.
Labadie is also an education policy expert, having researched and advocated for policies that help adult students access and complete postsecondary credentials and degrees, including leading efforts to increase the availability of need-based financial aid for low-income students. Labadie has worked with colleges, elected officials, and state agencies to implement these policies. In 2013, she helped craft guidelines for Illinois’ colleges and universities to use when advising at-risk students.
Prior to joining the Women Employed team, Sarah spent a year teaching first grade in Siguatepeque, Honduras. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Cornell University.
- Inside Higher Ed, "Let's Make Child Care More Accessible," June 18, 2017
- Chicago Tribune, "Millennial women aren’t doing as well as women before them. Why?" June 7, 2017
- Crain's Chicago Business, "Letters: We've got bigger problems," December 31, 2016
- Chicago Sun-Times, "Letters: Understand who struggling college students really are," January 18, 2015
- ABC 7, "Student MAP Grant Funding Stuck in Budget Crisis," August 28, 2015
- CAN TV, Focus on Tomorrow interviews Sarah Labadie, May 10, 2015
- The Progressive, "Obama's Tuition-Free Proposal Could Be Transformative," January 23, 2015
- Progress Illinois, "Illinois College Affordability Program At Risk Following Income Tax Rollback, Report Finds," January 14, 2015
- Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, "To Help Low-Wage Working Women, Make College Affordable," May 5, 2014
- Chicago Tribune, “Letters: MAP grant,” March 26, 2012
- Chicago Tribune, “Letters: College remains unaffordable in Illinois,” August 27, 2011