Kate Yager

Director of State Policy and Advocacy
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About Kate

Hometown: Averill Park, N.Y.

Education: BA, Economics, Binghamton University | MA, Economics, University of Missouri – Kansas City

Hobbies: I love spending time outdoors, whether it’s hiking or jogging with my two adorable pups, biking along the lakefront or finding my way to the beach or mountains. I’m a diehard baseball fan and have a lofty goal of visiting all of the MLB stadiums. I love going to Broadway shows and the symphony, seeing any type of music live, and singing at the top of my lungs in the car on road trips. I’m also a big reader and huge fan of word games and puzzles.


Who are you?

I am the Director of State Policy and Advocacy for Healthy Schools Campaign. In this role, I am responsible for implementing HSC’s policy agenda across Illinois and other states. Taking lessons learned from our local Chicago-area work and national programs, my main focus is identifying critical health and wellness issues and developing and executing a statewide policy strategy that will positively impact schools and youth from a diverse array of geographic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.


What makes your job great?

Being a part of the HSC team allows me to work alongside a group of smart, passionate people who are having a positive and measurable impact on our youth. I’m able to leverage my skills in policy and stakeholder engagement on a daily basis to improve education and wellness for our next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers. Every day brings a new and different challenge, which means there’s never a dull moment and life is always interesting.


When did you come to Healthy Schools Campaign?

February 2018. For nearly my entire career, I have worked in the public sector, focused on a wide variety of issues ranging from technology and energy efficiency to workforce development and affordable housing, at the city and state levels in New York, Tennessee and Illinois.


Why did you join Healthy Schools Campaign?

As I was exploring new opportunities, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I really wanted in my next job—the type of issues I was truly passionate about, what I wanted to learn, and how I could best leverage my skills and abilities to effectively contribute to an organization and its mission in a substantive way. HSC provides an opportunity to work with a talented, passionate team that focuses on youth, education, and health and wellness—and I can’t think of a better combination of personally meaningful issues to focus my efforts on.


Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation stems from the personal desire to have a positive impact on the world around me. From an early age, there has always been a focus on service and contributing to the community, with the idea that no action was too small to have a lasting positive impact. I have three young nieces and nephews, dedicate time volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and feel strongly about ensuring all youth receive an outstanding education and are adequately and equitably prepared to come to school to learn, think and thrive on a daily basis. My hope is that through my work with HSC, I can play a tiny role in providing a solid foundation that provides all the tools our youth need to grow and succeed.

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